Tuesday, December 6, 2016

College Football Selection Committee Decisions Make Little Sense

An NCAA committee selects four college football teams to play for the national championship once the regular season and conference championship games are complete. This year they selected Alabama (13-0, Southeast Conference Champs – 1 seed), Clemson (12-1, Atlantic Coast Conference Champs – 2nd seed), Ohio State (11-1, Big 10 Conference 2nd place in East Division, 3rd seed), and Washington (12-1, Pacific Athletic Conference Champs – 4th seed). The committee also considered Penn State (11-2, Big 10 Conference Champs) and Michigan (10-2, Big 10 Conference 3rd place in the East Division).

No one can argue with the selection of Alabama or Clemson. Both played tough schedules and won their conference championships. And it is probably acceptable that the committee left Michigan out of the tournament. Although I think they have a better argument to be in the tournament than Washington.

Does Ohio State deserve to be in the field ahead of Penn State? Penn State beat Ohio State, they had the best record in the nation’s toughest conference (The Big 10), and they won the conference championship outright. Penn State was also the second hottest team in the country winning 9 straight games (only Alabama has done better). The problem with Penn State is that they have 2 loses. They lost a game at Pittsburgh (8-4, 42-39 final) and they got crushed at Michigan in the conference opener (49-10 final). But Penn State was hot and beat two top 10 teams and was crushing weaker opponents to finish the season.

Does Washington deserve to be in the field ahead of Penn State? The problem with Washington is that they played the 108th weakest schedule in the country (out of 128 Division 1 teams). That is pitiful, but the committee argues that Penn State had a bad loss at Pittsburgh. However, what the committee fails to mention is that Pittsburgh also gave Clemson its only loss (and it was at Clemson) and they are ranked in the top 25. Pittsburgh was obviously a dangerous team to play. What if Washington had to play 3 top 10 teams and a couple more top 25 teams? Washington lost its only game against a top 10 team (USC) and only has one other victory against a top 25 team (Colorado). Penn State played 6 games against top 25 teams (4-2), and 3 of those games were against top 10 teams (2-1). What if Washington had to play another 2 games against top 10 teams and 4 against top 25 teams (instead of patsies), would they still have one loss? Probably not. It is hard to get for and to play tough games week in and week out. This tests the mental state of a team which has not been challenged in Washington’s schedule. Washington was 1-1 against top 25 teams (0-1 against the top 10). Michigan was much more qualified then Washington also going 4-2 against top 25 teams and 2-1 against top 10 teams. And let’s not forget that the committee seeded Ohio State ahead of Washington even though they did not win the Big 10 Conference and have a worse record (1 less win).

Washington and Ohio State are very good teams. But why should Ohio State benefit from playing one less game because they did not even make the Big 10 Championship game (what if they played in the championship game and lost, they would not be in the tournament)? And why would Washington benefit from playing a weak schedule? The selection committee has always selected Conference Champions and said they consider head to head games as a tie breaker – but Ohio State makes the championship field. One reason a team like Western Michigan (13-0, Champions on the Mid-American Conference) were not considered for the championship field is because they play a weak schedule. Western Michigan’s schedule was much weaker than Washington’s but the difference in the strength of schedule between Penn State and Washington was about the same as Washington and Western Michigan (considering FBS teams as well). Using the committee’s logic of prioritizing loses over strength of schedule, then Western Michigan should have been selected over Washington since they have 1 less loss (just like Washington has one less loss than Penn State). If you do not include strength of schedule then teams will schedule patsies in non-conference games.

The goal of the committee is to get the best 4 teams in the championship tournament and maybe they did. But it is hard to think that Washington is better than both Penn State and Michigan who played a much superior schedule. It is even harder to consider how Ohio State gets in the championship tournament without Penn State also in the tournament. Why reward teams that do not win their conference and that lost to the team that won the conference? A few years back the committee rewarded Ohio State over other teams because they won the Big 10 Championship even though the conference was weak that year. I suppose the committee likes to keep the status quo and benefit teams that have a solid history like Ohio State.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Roosevelt and Taft:The Fathers of Modern Day Liberalism (Part II)

Domestically, Taft was very much built in the progressive Roosevelt image. For that reason, Roosevelt pushed for Taft to succeed him in 1908 which was done successfully. Taft’s four years as president may have been more productive than Roosevelt’s 7.5 years (Roosevelt was vice president when McKinley was assassinated. Interestingly, Republicans placed Roosevelt in the vice president (VP) position to keep him out of the way since the VP has limited power. Ironically, Taft would have more than likely been the 1904 Republican candidate had McKinley not been assassinated). Taft used the Sherman Anti-Trust Act to break up dozens of monopolies; passed an income tax amendment to the constitution; granted two more territories statehood; passed new corporate taxes; and was the first to push for the passage of free trade laws (protectionism tariffs had been the central government philosophy up to that point). In response to a major recession under the Roosevelt presidency (many blamed it on his anti-corporation laws) Taft created what would eventually turn into the Federal Reserve (under Woodrow Wilson) and he created the postal savings system where people can save their money in a government bank instead of private banks that failed at a high rate during the Roosevelt recession.

Roosevelt was not particularly happy with Taft once he became president. Roosevelt was not happy that Taft removed all his cabinet members and he was not happy that he undid many of his regulations especially western land grabs. Taft thought that Roosevelt violated the Constitution by circumventing congress to make many western lands public property. Even though Taft successfully got Congress to legally approve the land grabs, Roosevelt was beside himself. The rift was so bad that Roosevelt decided to be the first president to seek a third term. The Republican primary between Roosevelt and Taft was heated. It was the first time a presidential election held primaries where the people of each state decided the delegates and the outcome (similar to our present day system – 13 states used the primary system and the rest used the conventional manner at that time to decide elections at the convention). Hence, it became the first election where candidates went to states to campaign for votes in the primary season. Roosevelt’s rhetoric was just as harsh as anything we may witness today. Taft would not stoop to Roosevelt’s level other than to defend himself over the many falsehoods that Roosevelt claimed. Roosevelt won most of the primaries but Taft won the nomination at the Convention winning most states who did not have a primary. Roosevelt was upset and felt the Republican nomination was robbed from him. Roosevelt decided to run in 1912 as a third party candidate – the progressive Bull Moose Party. The unfortunate outcome of this skirmish is that it allowed Woodrow Wilson win the presidency. Taft would have won the presidency if it were not for Roosevelt’s massive super ego.

Wilson continued the progressive movement started by Roosevelt and Taft. Wilson lowered the protection tariffs, instituted a progressive Federal Income Tax, passed Child Labor Laws, and passed the Federal Reserve Act. Wilson tried to create a League of Nations (our United Nations today) but failed after WWI. This action was not much different than a treaty created by Taft with many nations to decide issues through arbitration to avoid wars (This agitated the war thirsty Roosevelt). In fact, everything Wilson did was merely an enhancement of Roosevelt and Taft policies. Wilson was Taft and Roosevelt on steroids. Hence, the start of the progressive era with each liberal president trying to outdo their predecessor (not with new ideas, but by making old ideas more restrictive).

Taft and Roosevelt were the fathers of Democratic progressive policies. To Taft and Roosevelt’s credit, back in their day, there was a need for child labor laws, working condition laws, and so forth. Today, the need for unions and further regulations are not needed nearly to the extent as they were needed in the beginning of the twentieth century. However, that has not stopped Democrats and liberals from being more intrusive by creating more laws, taxes, and regulations to beat down corporations. But all the ideas of progressive policies originated from Republicans – everything from an inheritance tax to radical ideas such as repealing judicial decisions came from these two Republicans. They even championed ideas that are a part of American tradition today: women’s suffrage, election of Senators (originally Senators were appointed by state legislators), election primaries, and free trade.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Anderson Cooper Attacks Trump by Flattering Himself

Anderson Cooper should stop flattering himself. His highlight on his show last evening was how Trump tweeted him (at 2am) over his liberally lopsided views on his program the day before. Trump should not even have the time to do this Cooper said. This was the top story and there was no mention about how Trump is making a deal for 1000 manufacturing workers to keep their jobs in Indiana instead of having them move to Mexico. It was another Trump assault by Cooper masterful pulled off by flattering himself. Now that is an egomaniac.

I wonder where the Clinton News Network (CNN) has been the past eight years? They did not seem to care that Obama spent most of his time on the job campaigning to raise money for the DNC, playing basketball or golf, sitting in on talk show TV programs yucking it up with other liberals, playing NCAA Men’s Basketball brackets on ESPN, vacationing, or sleeping. And when Obama was not doing these things he was complaining about Fox News. Where was the outrage when Obama sat on a plane going to Vegas for fund raiser as we were under attack in Benghazi, Libya? Where is the outrage and concern over Obama blaming the election loses on Fox News yesterday? News flash to Cooper, this is how Trump finds the time: Trump works 20 hours a day, he does not sleep much, he does not vacation, and he does not even take a pay check. And on top of that he did Obama’s job yesterday of saving those manufacturing jobs in Indiana making him the most successful presidential elect in our history – already doing the job of President.

I know Trump will not get a fair shake, but this is ridiculous. The media is making itself look more and more incompetent. Cooper lost all respect with me earlier this year when he questioned how Florida Attorney General, Pam Bondi, could care about the loss of life at the Orlando night club shooting when she did not back gay marriage. Really? Because you do not support gay marriage you want gay people to die! These are conclusions that our liberal media make. I do not understand how Cooper still has a job after making those statements.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Liberal and Media Bias, Hypocrisy, Outrage, and Bad Precedent (Part II)

Yet, the media is defending the effort of Jill Stein, and now backed by the Clinton campaign, to raise money for recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Trump won Wisconsin by 1% or about 28,000 votes; Trump won Michigan by 0.3% or about 11,000 votes; and Trump won Pennsylvania by 1.3% or about 70,000 votes. Most states do an automatic recount if the election is decided by less than 0.25% which none of these states qualify. Hence, Jill Stein has started to raise money for a recount and thus far a recount has been granted in Wisconsin. What is odd is why is Stein leading this charge? She earned more votes as the Green Party candidate in all three of the states in question to put Clinton in the White House. Remember, Green Party votes are 90% more likely to take a vote from the Democratic candidate than the Republican candidate (Libertarian candidates usually take more votes from the Republican candidate). Liberals claim that Trump outperformed Romney numbers, especially in rural areas, by huge margins (10 to 20%) and that seems unlikely. In fact, Trump won 38 more counties in those three states than Romney won (Republicans win most counties in general elections, so winning that many more is an amazing feat). But there are several reasons as to why this recount will not change anything. First, there is no evidence of any cyber security hack. Secondly, the urban and rural voting patterns in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin were similar to what happened in other states such as Ohio, Iowa, and Minnesota (strong correlation in voting patterns) and even to a lesser degree – Florida and New Hampshire (moderate correlation in voting patterns). And there is even some weak correlation in other states that Clinton won: Colorado and Nevada. Thirdly, some may argue that results may have been “rigged” in those other states as well. However, each state has a different method of voting and in some cases voting methods are mixed. For instance, Iowa and Minnesota elections are not electronic – they are entirely paper ballots. Hence, there is no way to “hack” these elections through cyber security breaches. Also, rural counties in Wisconsin use paper ballots. The bottom line is there is a paper trail that supports the election results: a trend of Trump outperforming Romney big league. Fourth, Trump can lose any one of these states and still win the election. In fact, he can lose both Wisconsin and Michigan and still win the election. And his lead in Pennsylvania is the largest and most secure of the three states. Fifth, these are huge leads in all three states. Finding tens of thousands of votes just does not happen. Fifth, Trump under performed the results of Republicans in U.S. Senate races in rust-belt states. Finally, what most people fail to realize is that Obama outperformed Gore and Kerry by large margins in rural rust belt counties and the trend just reversed itself?

But where is the criticism of the left in the media for dragging out this election and failing to conform to our democratic ways? Stein is obviously doing a favor for the Clinton campaign why else would she select three states that Trump barely won. Why not contest states Clinton barely won - Minnesota (1.4%) or New Hampshire (0.3%)? It is because Stein is working in cahoots with the Clinton campaign. This behavior sets a bad precedent for our democracy as do the violent protests.

I am not condoning any type of biased media coverage. But my biggest beef is that they fail to be consistent on issues. They cover Trump different than they do Clinton over the same issues i.e. “rigged elections” and failing to trust our election system. The media failed to cover Obama in same light over similar issues especially over national security as Bush: war (Libya, Afghanistan, and Iraq), drone strikes, NSA metadata, and civil liberty violations (killing of American terrorists without due process). Did the media cover Benghazi, fast and furious, IRS and DOJ targeting, the Clinton email server, or the VA cover up with the same veracity that they covered the outing of Valarie Plame or the firing of federal judges? Is the appointment of Bannon being reported equally as Obama controversial Czar Appointments? Has controversial Obama associations been covered as much as the Alt-Right and KKK supporting Trump (even though he has disavowed them dozens of times)? Has Clinton ever disavowed radical groups such as Black Lives Matter? The public is tired of this blatant bias as they are tired of narcissistic college youths coddled by liberal parents and professors. Liberal youths that want to stifle free speech by hiding in safe spaces on college campuses free of opposing points of view.

Everything that the media or liberals accuse Trump and his supporters of, they in turn do the same thing: Protesting elections and having no faith in our democratic system, discrimination, hateful words and acts, and so forth. As long as the media and liberals behave with hypocrisy, bias, bad precedent, and outrage the Trump movement will gain traction. It is so blatant that no one wants to give the guy a fair shot before he even gets into office. I debated my vote for Trump. It was difficult. However, the more the media covered the election in an unfair matter, the more I saw my vote for Trump as a vote against the media.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Liberal and Media Bias, Outrage, Hypocrisy and Bad Precedent (Part I)

Trump is still nearly two months away from the Presidency, but it is almost comical how he cannot do anything right in the eyes of media since winning the election. First, his transition team was accused of being in chaos and being behind schedule for appointing members to his cabinet. Of course, the media gave him little chance to win the election and he had to use resources on his campaign instead of on the transition since he was outspent 3 to 1. Still, the media would not cut Trump any slack for one instance. After he appointed several cabinet posts Trump was then accused of appointing white supremacists and racists. My Lord, Trump’s first five cabinet selections only consisted of old white men and had no diversity. The next day Trump appointed two women including an Indian-American. The story then changed to Trump only going to two national security briefings (this is serious, but Pence has gone to them all and let’s not forget Obama’s abysmal record of attending these meetings). Unfortunately, this is how it is going to be for the next four years.

Not one media outlet covered the fact that Trump was not going to take a vacation or paycheck (other than the 60 Minutes interview). No one covered the fact Trump backed off his claim of prosecuting Clinton. No one covered Trump’s rule of having anyone serving in his administration to stay out of the lobbying business for 5 years (a failed Obama campaign promise). No one covered how Trump has put aside campaign differences for the better of the country by appointing Nicki Hailey as UN ambassador or by considering Mitt Romney to a cabinet post. No one covered how Trump was considering Democrats for his administration or how he wants to pass an infrastructure bill (similar to Obama). In fact, Trump is acting much like a liberal or Democrat in many regards especially on trade and the economy.

While Trump can do no right, the media has said nothing about the violent protestors against the Trump victory: records indicate that most of those who were arrested did not even vote. The media failed to condone the treatment of Mike Pence at a “Hamilton” play even though cast members including Javier Munoz, who plays Hamilton, did not vote. What precedent does it set to look the other way when Americans overstep the reigns of democracy? The media seems to have favorable views of Californian’s wanting to succeed from the union (Clinton won California by an amazing 3.5 to 4 million votes). First of all, succession is illegal (Texas v. White). Secondly, every time a conservative state threatened to succeed in the past they were critically chastised by the media. The media criticized Trump for his answer in the final debate about wanting to “wait and see” about whether or not he would concede after the election if he lost. Every newspaper in the country made this the most important issue that came out of the last debate. They claimed Trump is against our democratic process especially since he continually claims the process and system is rigged. There is no question that Trump saw what the DNC machine did to Bernie Sanders and he did not completely trust the system. Who could blame him other than the media?

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Roosevelt and Taft: The Fathers of Modern Day Liberalism (Part I)

Democrats continually make the claim time and time again that the Republican Party is the “Do Nothing” Party. They argue conservatives have no real ideas or concepts. In fact, a look at history would explain that Democrats are the Party of no ideas or concepts. Lincoln emancipated African-Americans and it took a plurality of Republicans to pass the civil rights under LBJ. It took a plurality of Republicans to pass women’s suffrage. Even Reagan provided amnesty to illegal immigrant Hispanics. And Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to clean up the environment. Today, Democrats use African-Americans and women as pawns in their crusade to conquer and divide Americans. And they use the EPA as a means to regulate companies in their pursuit to combat what they call “manmade” climate change. Democrats use Republican ideas and concepts on steroids.

In fact, a look back at history shows the first real progressives in the White House were Teddy Roosevelt and William Taft and they were Republicans. Taft and Roosevelt were two very different people both physically and in persona. Roosevelt was fit and Taft struggled with his weight at times ballooning over 325 pounds. Roosevelt was a talker while Taft was a listener. Roosevelt was brash while Taft was congenial. Roosevelt had a massive super ego while Taft was laid back and did not let any personal agenda take over his motives. Roosevelt was a warmonger while Taft was a peaceful man. Roosevelt governed by trying to find ways to circumvent the law, Taft was a lawyer and judge by trade and hence he always tried to do things by the book (legally). Despite these differences, both Taft and Roosevelt where the best of friends and when it came to domestic and foreign policy they saw things pretty much eye to eye.

Roosevelt got his claim to fame by being New York City police chief and mayor as well as assistant secretary of the navy. He is most famous for being the leader of the Rough Riders during the Spanish American War winning the battle at San Juan Hill. However, it was his preparedness of the Navy that helped the U.S. win decisive battles at Manila and Santiago to win the war. Taft was a lawyer who became an Ohio state judge at an early age. He was President Benjamin Harrison’s solicitor general before being nominated by President McKinley to be the first governor of the Philippines after Spain succeeded that territory to the U.S. after the war.

Roosevelt was a brash individual more concerned with popular public opinion. He was the first president to use the press to his advantage. Once Roosevelt confirmed investigative reports were factual – he acted. Most thought he was a leader, but he was actually a follower. He followed public opinion to be popular. He acted by using the Sherman Anti-Trust Act to break up unpopular monopolies in the railroad industry. He acted through Congress and through executive order to conserve more western lands than any other president in history – combined. Roosevelt supported unions and their quest for better working conditions, child labor laws, and an eight hour workday. Reports of terrible conditions in the meatpacking industry also forced Congress to pass the Food and Drug Act making it imperative for products to list its ingredients. Roosevelt was the first president to pass regulations to keep corporations in check. Without a doubt, Roosevelt increased the power of the executive branch and the media to push his agenda through public opinion. Roosevelt even pushed for renewable energy – hydro power and the irrigation of desert lands. The Roosevelt administration was a like our present day Obama administration. They both pushed regulations on corporations, both pushed for renewable energies and policies to protect our environment, and they both expanded the role of the presidency mostly through executive actions.

A few of Roosevelt’s biggest accomplishments were not his gaudy domestic policies, but in foreign affairs. He won the Nobel Peace Prize for bringing about the peace treaty between Russia and Japan ending the Russo-Japanese War (Obama also won the Nobel Peace Prize, but he did nothing to earn it). He started work on the Panama Canal and progress was made in American colonization in Cuba and the Philippines. However, the man that should take credit for Roosevelt’s successes in foreign policy were William Taft.

Taft was assigned to be the first governor of the Philippines following the victory over the Spanish is the Spanish American War. Taft made remarkable progress towards moving the country towards independence. The goal was always to stabilize the country until they could enjoy their own independence. Once Roosevelt became President he moved his friend Taft to take over his Secretary of War position in his cabinet. As Secretary of War Taft set up the peace talks between the Russians and Japanese; Taft managed the construction of the Panama Canal; and he even helped thwart a revolt in Cuba to restore order and create a new Democracy with free elections.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Why Clinton Lost and the Post-Election Protests (Part III)

Trump’s policy for child care, inner city infrastructure improvements, reducing crime and drugs (bringing law and order to our cities), thwarting terrorism, and education of choice is why minorities and women voted for Trump. I have heard bigoted statements to explain why minorities and women voted for Trump. For example, male Hispanics voted for Trump because he is a misogynist. Really? Since the election I see and hear people reacting to perceived discrimination by Donald Trump by using the same methods of inciting discrimination in the form of hate, anger and violence against others. This makes little sense, yet we let them get away with it.

Part of the trouble with the post-election protests is that most of the people are young adults whose lives consist of social media with no interpersonal skills. These youths are narcissistic and do not understand American democracy customs. For instance, I saw several signs saying “Trump in not my President”. The key word is “my”. They think the election is about them. They do not care or have any clue that there are about a million voters in the Rust Belt States that are hurting. People that have voted Democrat, or maybe for Perot, over the past 25 to 40 years. Yet, the same problems persist because they have been ignored election cycle after election cycle. It is no wonder they voted for change this time around.

I am astounded to hear professional coaches and celebrities say they cannot believe half the country voted for racism, homophobia, and sexism. These folks are ignorant to the fact that the Democrats ran a bad candidate with plenty of her own baggage. They are ignorant to the fact that many people in this country are hurting and want change after decades of voting for Democrats only to be ignored. The fact Trump overcame the media, the establishment, money, and host of other issues shows that people are tired of Washington. NBC has an interview of Bill Clinton’s rape accuser but failed to play it in its entirety. But they played Trump’s 11 year old Access Hollywood video one month before the election. The truth is that NBC had the video for over a year before they aired it. Why didn’t they play the video when they got it? Because they wanted Trump to win the Republican primary since they felt he was Clinton’s best chance of winning in the general election. These are the games our media plays. So you should blame NBC for the Trump presidency. They clearly took a premeditated risk to be the hero to take down Trump, but they failed. A New York Times editorial claims they will be back to reporting the truth after the Trump win to win back customers. Over the past eight years the Times failed to cover dozens of Clinton and Obama scandals, yet they still could not sway public opinion. Media outlets across America paid hundreds of employees to find dirt on Trump, but nothing on Clinton. Over 90% of all media coverage during the election cycle on Trump was negative compared to less than 20% for Clinton despite her crimes, collusion, and lies. America has totally lost faith in the government and the media. Obviously, there are four big losers in this election: Clinton, Obama, Democrats, and the media. Yet, they still have not learned their lesson. For instance, days following the election the Clinton News Network (CNN) only covered negative stories about Trump and how he is trying to gain top security access for his children. First, the story is false, and second they failed to mention Trump will not take a paycheck and he will not take a vacation as president. Asked on 60 Minutes if he was concerned the Trump business brand was damaged during the campaign Trump said “it does not matter” because the country comes first over his business. This unselfishness is not covered, but false stories are.

The bottom line is that the media's hack job in this election cycle has brainwashed half of America into thinking that not only is Trump a racist, all of his supporters are racists and bigots because there is no good reason to vote for him. And of course, Clinton is a strong woman who is a Saint. The media spews fiction that has incited Americans to protest. The story would be much different had Trump lost and his supporters were protesting. The media's portrayal of Americans is no better than what they accuse Trump of being.