Trump vs. Ford

The Chicago Tribune focuses on the first part of Monday’s “debate”:

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump wasted no time Monday hitting one of his signature issues —€“ trade — and attacking Ford by claiming the Dearborn automaker is moving jobs to Mexico during the first presidential debate.

The issue left Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton on the defensive for nearly the first 10 minutes of the debate. Clinton, who supported the North American Free Trade Agreementin the 1990s and initially supported the idea of the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership explained that she only supports trade deals that are fair and benefit the U.S. economy.

Trump, meanwhile, reiterated his position that NAFTA is among the worst trade deals ever, even though most economists say it had positive benefits for the overall economy.

“Our jobs are fleeing the country. They are going to Mexico,” Trump said during his first answer during the presidential debate on Monday. “So, Ford is leaving — thousands of jobs. Leaving Michigan, leaving Ohio. They are all leaving.”

Trump’s statement about Ford is partly true and partly false.

Ford is moving production of the Ford Focus and Ford C-Max from its Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne to Mexico in 2018. Ford said in April it plans to invest $1.6 billion to build a new plant in Mexico and create 2,800 jobs to build small cars there.

However, Ford also plans to replace the products it makes in Wayne with two new vehicles and has repeatedly said no jobs will be lost.

Ford CEO Mark Fields said Sept. 16 that “zero” jobs will be lost in the U.S. and said “it is really unfortunate when politics get in the way of the facts.”

Trump’s comments also prompted tweets from both Ford and the UAW countering Trump’s claims. …

Still, the emphasis on trade at the outset of the debate gave Trump an opportunity to stick with an issue that has resonated for him among blue collar workers.

“We have to renegotiate these trade deals,” Trump said in reference to NAFTA and the TPP, which has not yet been approved by Congress.

NAFTA is a trade agreement that was signed by former U.S. President Bill Clinton, but was largely negotiated under the administration of George H.W. Bush.

“I think that trade is an important issue….And we need to have smart, fair trade deals,” Clinton said.

Clinton largely tried to pivot to the broader issue of the U.S. economy, the deep recession that occurred in 2008-2009, and ways to create jobs.

“We have come back from that abyss and it has not been easy,” Clinton said. “The last thing we need to do is to go back to the policies that failed us in the first place.”

Clinton said the U.S. needs to work on creating high-tech manufacturing and supporting the creation of a new energy infrastructure with investments in technology such as solar power.

Throughout the evening, Ford continued to reply to Tweets regarding keeping jobs in the United States.

To no one’s surprise, Hillary is a terrible defender of free trade, and The Donald is ignorant about how economics applies to normal people. It should be obvious that free trade benefits consumers, a group that presumably totals all Americans.

They watched, so you didn’t have to

Facebook Friend Michael  Smith starts with …

I heard there was a debate last night. I looked for it but all I found was an episode of America’s Funniest Home Videos with 90 minutes of two old people saying things…and they weren’t funny. One seemed to have Tourette’s Syndrome and the woman was clearly suffering from dementia, remembering things that never happened and forgetting those that did.

The big take away for me (and this will be a shocker…not really) is that neither are acceptable. We all should be embarrassed that these two people made it to the top of our political system. It is a true indication of just how broken our system is. A person of principle has no chance to lead this country – and with Cruz’s endorsement of Trump, the evidence is in that politics will always trump (no pun intended) principle in the current process.

I didn’t think Trump did well at all – he didn’t suck – but all Hillary did was repeat canned phrases from her campaign commercials. It was like she was reading a script – but with Lester Holt “fact checking” every “a”, “and” and “the” out of Trump’s mouth, this “debate” was tailor made for her to just spout off sound bites without challenge. Trump didn’t hurt himself but I don’t see it as a win. His optics were awful – his facial expressions made him look as if he was sucking a lemon all night. His rambling answers and third grade playground ruffian style just turn me off…but on the other hand, Hillary is the daughter of Satan so she has that going for her. …

These “debates” are a farce. Have a real one. Have a single topic, let them go at it for 90 minutes and then have an independent panel decide the winner on points just like a real debate. These televised food fights are a waste of time and are always an advantage to the candidate favored by the media – the Democrat.

Another Facebook Friend, a reluctant Trump backer, adds:

Observation: Trump couldn’t explain how to flush a toilet properly, but it would be beautiful, that I can tell you. He HAS the right ideas (on many, many things), let there be no doubt, but his mind is a disarranged gallimaufry of half-remembered talking points that collectively equal balderdash. He is incapable of ordering and then explicating his thoughts in a coherent manner verbally, from a starting point to a conclusion normally, but especially so during a “debate” when the moderator is interrupting and Hillary is sniping back from the other side of the stage thus constantly discomposing an already-terribly incoherent man. It flustered and frustrated and aroused his anger. Devastatingly so. …

It is entirely Trump’s fault for allowing himself to be baited so easily, and failing to be able to respond in anything better than what will be depicted in political cartoons in the papers today as a sputtering, infuriated, confused old crackpot totally out of his depth, and totally outclassed. By Hillary. In the first 20 minutes.

Of course, it’s possible to win on style and lose on substance. Edmund Kozak:

Clinton’s nose began to grow from the very start, as she asserted that the nation needs to “finally guarantee equal pay for equal work” for women in her opening statement. The notion that women on average do not receive the same pay as men — the 77 cents to a dollar myth — has been proven false repeatedly.

The fact is that it is already illegal to pay men and women different wages for the same work if they have the same experience. The 77 cents myth is derived from looking merely at average income accrued over a lifetime, and ignores the fact that men on average tend to work longer hours, often work in higher paying industries, and spend more active years in the work force.

When confronted by Trump about her former strong support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Clinton claimed that she “hoped it would be good deal.” The truth of course is that she called it the “gold standard” of trade deals.

Clinton also advocated raising taxes on the wealthy based on the premise that they do not currently pay enough. “I think it’s time to suggest that the wealthy pay their fair share,” she said. The truth is that America has the most progressive tax system in the developed world — the top 10 percent contribute over half of all income tax revenue.

Bizarrely, Clinton claimed that “slashing taxes on the wealthy hasn’t worked.” Her comment implied that slashing taxes on the wealthy is why the economy is in such poor shape currently. This is an odd thing to say, considering Obama has been in office for the better part of eight years and has done anything but slash taxes for anyone.

When Trump said he wished to lower the corporate tax rate, Hillary said: “We’ve looked at your tax proposals. I don’t see changes in the corporate tax rates … you’re referring to that would cause the repatriation.”

Clinton and her team couldn’t have been looking very hard, as Trump’s plan to lower to corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 15 is written quite clearly on the economic plan posted on his website.

Taking time to remind the country that Clinton’s success is due in large part to her surname, she asserted that “my husband did a pretty good job in the 1990s.” Clinton, like all Democrats, loves to take credit for the financial stability of her husband’s presidency. Of course, it was the Republican-controlled Congress led by Newt Gingrich that blocked Clinton’s desired spending measures and balanced the budget.

Clinton also claimed that in being party to the Iran deal she helped “put the lid on Iran’s nuclear program.” But many said the deal guarantees no such thing. Indeed, it rests entirely on Iran’s acting in good faith and upholding their end of the bargain.

When Trump defended the use of stop-and-frisk policies in New York City, Clinton attacked them as unconstitutional and asserted “it was uneffective it did not do what it needed to do.” This is simply false.

“Data from the few cities that report police stops show their effectiveness,” Dennis C. Smith, professor of public policy at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University, wrote in The New York Times in 2012 .

“My trend analysis with SUNY Albany professor Robert Purtell found that the increased use of stops correlated significantly with accelerating drops in most of the major crimes. A Harvard study of policing in Los Angeles under William Bratton, when crime dropped significantly, reported a surge in stops by the L.A.P.D. [with per capita stop rate higher than N.Y.P.D.],” Smith continued.

Perhaps Clinton’s most egregious lies were two concerned with emails. “I made a mistake using a private email,” Clinton said. Of course, Clinton didn’t use a “private email.” She used multiple private email servers. The word mistake implies Clinton didn’t know she was doing anything wrong, a claim belied entirely by the fact that so many of her aides and associates pleaded the Fifth or were granted immunity by the FBI — not to mention the fact that many of them engaged in the destruction of evidence and that she herself made false exculpatory statements.

Finally, in visiting her favorite Trump-Putin conspiracy theory, Clinton claimed that “Donald publicly invited Putin to hack into Americans.” The truth, as is obvious from the context of his words, is that Trump was calling on the Russians to release Clinton’s missing emails in the event that they already had them.

The stop-and-frisk point is one Trump needs to hammer on repeatedly the rest of this trainwreck of a campaign, whether or not stop-and-frisk is constitutional. (Neither he nor his supporters care if it is, and you’ll never convince Hillary and her Black Lives Matter supporters that it is.) If people feel less safe, stop-and-frisk is a way for police to keep a constant eye on the bad guys. Trump also needs to keep hammering on Hillary’s horrible Iran deal, though, again, Hillary’s toadies will continue to claim, right up until the mushroom clouds materialize in front of their eyes, that we need to give money to Iran’s illegitimate government.

I watched about 10 minutes of the debate by accident. Trump was his usual blustering mouthy idiot, saying “bigly” twice and getting off one and only one good line, saying he’d release his income tax records when Hillary released her 30,000 deleted emails. Hillary looked like something the labs of Harcourt Fenton Mudd developed.

See if you can  make any sense of this Trump “statement”:

As far as the cyber, I agree to parts of what Secretary Clinton said, we should be better than anybody else, and perhaps we’re not. I don’t know if we know it was Russia who broke into the DNC.
She’s saying Russia, Russia, Russia. Maybe it was. It could also be China, it could be someone sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds. You don’t know who broke into DNC, but what did we learn? We learn that Bernie Sanders was taken advantage of by your people. By Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
Look what happened to her. But Bernie Sanders was taken advantage of. Now, whether that was Russia, whether that was China, whether it was another country, we don’t know, because the truth is, under President Obama we’ve lost control of things that we used to have control over. We came in with an internet, we came up with the internet.
And I think Secretary Clinton and myself would agree very much, when you look at what ISIS is doing with the internet, they’re beating us at our own game. ISIS. So we have to get very, very tough on cyber and cyber warfare. It is a, it is a huge problem.
I have a son. He’s 10 years old. He has computers. He is so good with these computers, it’s unbelievable. The security aspect of cyber is very, very tough. And maybe it’s hardly doable. But I will say, we are not doing the job we should be doing, but that’s true throughout our whole governmental society. We have so many things that we have to do better, Lester, and certainly cyber is one of them.

Not a single viewer’s mind was changed last night. Not a single American should think either of these people (to use that term loosely) should be president.


Breaking news from 74 years ago

The Chicago Tribune editorializes on a story it ran June 7, 1942:

With each court ruling, the secret testimony that a Chicago grand jury heard during World War II edges closer to public scrutiny. If that testimony is unsealed, all of us will know more about the government’s only effort to prosecute the news media for an alleged violation of the Espionage Act of 1917. The journalists in the dock? Our predecessors at the Chicago Tribune.

This as yet unfinished yarn traces to the U.S. Navy’s ambush of an Imperial Japanese navy strike force near Midway Island. The little atoll halfway between Asia and North America was a steppingstone in Japan’s plan to seize the Hawaiian Islands. As the U.S. neared victory on June 7, 1942, the Tribune published a front-page scoop, “Navy Had Word of Jap Plan to Strike at Sea.” The story reported the size and schedule of Tokyo’s armada. The story’s richness of detail strongly implied (without stating explicitly) that Washington had cracked Japan’s secret naval code: The Tribune evidently had obtained the Japanese plan from an official U.S. source — someone who had access to decoded Japanese secrets.

The Tribune’s tacit revelation of the code-breaking coup infuriated Washington. President Franklin Roosevelt wanted to have Marines occupy Tribune Tower. Under pressure from Roosevelt and Navy officials, a special prosecutor impaneled a federal grand jury here to consider espionage charges against reporter Stanley Johnston, managing editor J. Loy Maloney and the Tribune itself. The grand jurors decided not to indict. But for 74 years the testimony they heard from some 13 witnesses — including naval officers and staffers from the Tribune and two other newspapers that ran its story — has remained sealed.

In 2014 a coalition of historians and the national Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press asked the U.S. District Court here to open the grand jury records. Government lawyers fought that request and, when they lost, appealed. Last week a panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals voted 2-1 to open the records. The legal dispute has little to do with the Midway story and much to do with the rare circumstances in which grand jury proceedings can become public. Courts have permitted that in such historically significant cases as those of accused Soviet spy Alger Hiss, executed “atomic spies” Julius and Ethel Rosenberg and Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa. Historical relevance adds heft to a release request, as do the deaths of the principals and the expiration of security threats, as is the case here.

The testimony might detail how war reporter Johnston got his controversial scoop. We don’t know. But we’ve written before that many historians think Morton Seligman, a U.S. Navy commander, intentionally or inadvertently leaked the info. A month earlier, during the Battle of the Coral Sea, Johnston had raced below deck to rescue badly burned sailors on Seligman’s sinking carrier, the USS Lexington. On June 7, as the Navy’s angry commander in chief Adm. Ernest King absorbed the Tribune’s Midway report, he had on his desk a draft citation honoring Johnston for his heroism aboard the Lexington.

What happens now? Katie Townsend, litigation director for the Reporters Committee, tells us the feds have until Sept. 29 to appeal to the full 7th Circuit, or until mid-December to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. One of Townsend’s filings neatly synthesized the stakes here: “The Tribune case speaks directly to a fundamental tension at the core of our democracy, involving the public’s right to know and the government’s duty to protect its citizens in time of war.” FDR and naval officials thought the breaking of the Japanese code should remain secret because doing so would make it useful as the war progressed. The Tribune thought it had a right to publish its thinly veiled disclosure of the code-breaking. It’s possible the grand jury testimony offers evidence on those points.

We’ve also written that our predecessors knew what it was to have the full force of the government, from the White House on down, try to punish this news organization for publishing information it held, in a manner that did no harm. The Tribune’s response to word that the feds would convene a grand jury: “We have said and proved that we cannot be intimidated and now, once again, we are going to prove it.”

Fighting unwarranted government secrecy is a big part of what news organizations like the Tribune do, in wartime and peacetime. That’s one reason we hope government lawyers admit defeat and end this lingering battle of Midway.

Taxpayers United of America adds in a news release:

Recent unprecedented disclosures of government malfeasance have forced Americans to confront unpleasant truths about the nature of our government. Americans do not trust the government – and in record numbers. It is understandable, and equally troubling, then, for Americans to come to expect opaqueness from a government that commonly flouts the U.S. Constitution and the laws intended to bind its authority. We shouldn’t be too surprised to learn that the government is still fighting a seventy-four-year battle over transparency and the historical record, dating back to World War II. …

The implications of these revelations are far-reaching, just as Taxpayer Education Foundation reported previously. In a December 2011 analysis of the extensive body of scholarship concerning FDR’s foreknowledge of the Japanese military’s naval codes and planned attack at Pearl Harbor, Taxpayer Education Foundation’s research director, Dennis Constant, wrote, “In September and October of 1940, Army and Navy cryptographers solved the principal Japanese government code, the Purple code, which was the major diplomatic code. The naval codes were a series of 29 separate operational codes. According to Stinnett, Japan used four of these codes to organize and dispatch her warships to Hawaii by radio. American cryptographers had solved each of the four by the fall of 1941, even though the Japanese were introducing minor variants every three months to foil cryptographers.”

“Taxpayers, regrettably, are forced to fund the government even when its policies are opposed to the interests of Americans and our liberty,” said Jared Labell, executive director of Taxpayers United of America (TUA). “While it is clear that the government is naturally incentivized to over-classify information and maintain strict secrecy over its vast realm of perceived interests, Americans must demand transparency and support all efforts to pull back the curtain on the machinations of the government. Disclosures not only help clarify the historical record and provide further insights into past policies, but they are tremendous opportunities to learn how tax dollars are spent by the government and in pursuit of what ends.”

“These recent legal developments further threaten the government’s ability to act in complete secrecy without risk of exposure,” said Labell. “We aren’t certain of the precise revelations contained in the sealed grand jury testimony. The documents might further corroborate longtime claims made by numerous historians implicating FDR and his administration in failing to protect the American military personnel based at Pearl Harbor, although the Japanese naval codes were deciphered. The code-breaking revelations the following year in the Chicago Tribune did not please the administration, to say the least.” …

President Woodrow Wilson signed the Espionage Act of 1917 into law in June of that year, only a couple months after the United States entered World War I. The case against the Chicago Tribune, its managing editor, and its reporter, Stanley Johnston, is the only known attempt to charge journalists with violating the Espionage Act, although the panel eventually declined to indict.

The government has until September 29 to appeal to the full 7th Circuit Court, or opt to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court until mid-December 2016. Litigation director for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, Katie Townsend, summarized what’s at stake in this case that dates back nearly three quarters of a century, “The Tribune case speaks directly to a fundamental tension at the core of our democracy, involving the public’s right to know and the government’s duty to protect its citizens in time of war.”

The every-four-year freak show starts tonight

Erick Erickson has nothing good to say about tonight’s first presidential debate:

Neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump is fit for the office of President of the United States.

They are both appalling, immoral cretins and their parties should live in everlasting shame that they foisted the two turds from the bottom of the bowl and floated them in the pool of American politics.

Tonight they will meet in New York and remind the nation just how awful, vain, and self-interested both are. Hillary Clinton will come across as completely unlikeable and so will Donald Trump. The Amorphophallus titanum will meet the bastard love child of Bozo the Clown and Chucky. Manhattan will meet Queens and it will be as smug, condescending, and pretentious as all that such an encounter entails.

We will really learn nothing about either one except that it will be possible to hate both more after tonight. It is my hope and prayer that the voters who voted for these two be permanently compelled to put their heads in paper bags and live in undying shame for having supported them in primaries. …

As we prepare for the shrill hell of monotony and are only spared old-people smell by virtue of not being in the same room with these reanimated corpses, I root for injuries. May both so thoroughly destroy each other than the American people look elsewhere, or at least look in the mirror and reassess the lack of seriousness of the several million voters who are to blame for those two creatures being on stage.

A pox on both of them.

A pox? Is it improper to wish that they both drop dead tonight?

Arthur Brooks asks whether the debates matter, and answers …

First of all, general election debates seem to matter less than everyone thinks. Surveying the literature, Professor John Sides at George Washington University concludes that presidential debates usually have little to no effect on general election outcomes. One study he cites, by political scientists Robert Erikson and Christopher Wlezien, examined a big set of elections from 1952 to 2008. Their finding? “The best prediction from the debates is the initial verdict before the debates.”
So the general election debates hardly ever yield earth-shattering inflection points. But the data can still help us guess what might happen [tonight[. In 2012, Nate Silver looked back at the historical record and found that the first debate usually helps the candidate whose party is out of power. Interestingly, he published his piece just a few days before Mitt Romney turned in an enormously successful performance in his first debate with President Obama. Romney’s big night won him a real bump in the polls (as per Silver’s analysis), but it soon faded away, and the underlying fundamentals of the race returned to the fore (as per Erikson’s and Wlezien’s hypothesis).
But this contrasts sharply with the research on primary debates, which seem to matter a lot. One 2013 study found that after primary debates, a whopping 35 percent of viewers said they changed their candidate preference. After the general election debates, only 3.5 percent of viewers said the same. People’s minds are seemingly only 1/10th as open during the general debates as during the primary debates. Why? I’ll make a few guesses.
For one thing, the primaries usually feature candidates with similar views. If voters can hardly distinguish between their options on policy substance, it makes sense that stylistic differences would exert a larger impact. What’s more, we hear a lot from primary voters that they are actually value debating skills pretty highly as an important trait that they’re looking for. (“I want someone who can really take the case to the other guy on national TV in October!”)
In sum, we are left with a bit of a paradox. While many primary voters seem to care a lot about rhetorical skills when they’re choosing who will represent their “team” in the general election, very few general election voters seem to be swayed permanently by those prime-time performances. As a result, debates matter a lot in the primaries but only a little in October.
Try dropping that factoid into the conversation at your debate watch party. It might be the most substantive talking point people hear all night.

In addition to the fact that I work, I am not watching because debates have nothing to do  with being president.

Postgame schadenfreude, State of Missedagain edition

By a quirk of the schedules, two Wisconsin football teams played two Michigan football teams this weekend.

Wisconsin started the weekend by going to East Lansing, where the Badgers are usually, and sometimes painfully, unsuccessful. But not this time,  which didn’t please the Lansing State Journal:

One quarterback looked like a rookie making his first Big Ten start. One played with the poise of a fifth-year senior.

Tyler O’Connor struggled mightily as Michigan State committed costly turnovers. The defense couldn’t generate much pressure on Wisconsin’s Alex Hornibrook, with the redshirt freshman shredding No. 8 MSU to lead the 10th-ranked Badgers to a 30-6 victory Saturday at Spartan Stadium.

“People have been saying a lot of good things about us lately,” 10th-year coach Mark Dantonio said. “And now we’ll take some shots. I think that’s usually the case with these things. We gotta regroup ourselves. And like I tell our players, it can always, always get worse.”

It was the Spartans’ worst home loss since a 42-14 blowout against Penn State in 2009, their only losing season under Dantonio. It’s also the first time MSU’s offense did not score a touchdown at home since a 20-3 loss to Notre Dame in 2012. …

Wisconsin converted 7 of 15 third downs and 2 of 2 fourth downs. Hornibrook, who got his first start in place of senior Bart Houson, shined for the Badgers. Hornibrook went 16 of 26 for 195 yards, a touchdown and an end-of-half interception.

O’Connor, meanwhile, made bad throws and poor decisions in MSU’s passing attack. He was 18 of 38 for 224 yards, no touchdowns and three interceptions.

“Give credit to Wisconsin, I thought they put together a really good game plan,” O’Connor said. “They threw some blitzes at us that maybe we weren’t ready for. Also, it’s on me to get the ball out on time and put in a good spot and not make a bad play worse for us.” …

Running back LJ Scott also committed a fumble that Wisconsin’s Leo Musso returned 66 yards for a touchdown that broke the game open in the third quarter. Two of MSU’s four turnovers, along with a muffed snap by punter Jake Hartbarger, led to 20 points for the Badgers.

“It was huge, anytime we can get a turnover and then also score on defense is huge,” Badgers linebacker T.J. Watt said. “We’re trying to flip the turnover margin in our favor. And when you score on defense, obviously that’s a huge play.”

The Spartans finally caught rhythm midway through the fourth quarter and got to Wisconsin’s 23, hoping to come back like Notre Dame did against them a week earlier. However, left tackle David Beedle took a 15-yard tripping penalty, O’Connor took a pair of sacks and the quarterback’s fourth-down heave to Donnie Corley in the end zone was batted away harmlessly.

Game over.

All the Spartans managed on offense were a pair of first-half Michael Geiger field goals. The Badgers got a 1-yard TD pass from Hornibrook to tight end Eric Steffes and a 1-yard TD run by Corey Clement for a 13-6 halftime lead.

Dantonio said the Badgers’ “points were sort of handed to them,” indicative of an MSU team still trying to find its identity.

“It’s all inclusive,” Dantonio said. “You can look at these statistics and start to read them and say, ‘Oh, there’s why they didn’t win, there’s why they didn’t win.’ Possession time, turnovers, running the football, sacks, third down conversions combined with fourth-down conversions – it’s all right there. That’s why you don’t win a football game.”

The Badgers’ murderous schedule made many observers believe they would be 2-4 after their first six games, including likely losses to top-10 LSU, Michigan State, Michigan and Ohio State. The Badgers instead are 4-0 heading to Ann Arbor Saturday. LSU, meanwhile, fired head coach Les Miles and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron Sunday.

The Packers, with one insufficiently impressive win and one loss that one should have expected, then hosted Detroit. The Detroit News reports:

Whatever had been ailing Aaron Rodgers, the Detroit Lions defense proved to be the elixir. The Green Bay Packers quarterback moved his offense up and down the field with surgical precision, tossing four first-half touchdowns in 34-27 victory at Lambeau Field on Sunday.

The Lions staged a comeback after falling behind 31-3, capped by a 35-yard TD pass from Matthew Stafford to Marvin Jones with 3:34 remaining, but Green Bay was able to run out the clock to end the game.

Rodgers’ struggles had drawn national attention in recent weeks, but he looked far more like the player who won the MVP in 2014 than the one who has struggled with accuracy and efficiency the past year.

“Rodgers’ was hot, completed a lot of big passes on us,” Lions coach Jim Caldwell said. “He really gave us some problems in that area. We just couldn’t slow him down.”

The Packers wasted little time getting on the scoreboard, taking the opening kick and driving 75 yards with eight plays. Rodgers completed four of his five throws for 75 yards on the drive, eluding pressure to connect with Randall Cobb on a 33-yard gain before capping the series with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Devante Adams running a slant with cornerback Quandre Diggs in coverage.

After a Lions field goal, Rodgers continued his assault on the opposing secondary. Taking advantage of a coverage mismatch, the quarterback waited for Jordy Nelson to run past linebacker Thurston Armbrister down the seam before delivering a strike that resulted in a 49-yard pickup. Three plays later, Rodgers went back to Nelson for an eight-yard touchdown to give the Packers an early 14-3 advantage.

The Lions proved unable to keep pace, going three-and-out on the ensuing possession, while Rodgers kept his foot on the gas.

The Packers needed just two plays to get back into the end zone. The scoring drive, if you can call it that, was aided by a 66-yard pass interference penalty against Lions cornerback Nevin Lawson, the longest such call in the NFL the past 15 years. That set up a two-yard scoring toss to tight end Richard Rodgers.

With Detroit’s defense unable to get a stop in the early going, the offense only compounded the problems with a turnover. Looking for tight end Eric Ebron in a soft spot of the Packers’ zone defense, Stafford’s pass was ripped from his intended target’s arms by cornerback Damarious Randall.

Ruled an interception because Ebron never establish control, the turnover was returned 44 yards and shortly after turned into three more Packers points, a 36-yard field goal for Mason Crosby.

“That’s a throw I make 10 out of 10 times,” Stafford said. “Eric probably didn’t feel (Randall). He did a great job coming from the side and the guy made a really nice play.”

Rodgers put the finishing touches on his masterful first half, leading a six-play, 67-yard touchdown drive following a missed field-goal attempt by Lions kicker Matt Prater.

The scoring strike, a perfectly-placed fade to Nelson down the right sideline, put the Packers up 31-3 with 3:53 remaining in the half.

Caldwell shouldered the blame for the sluggish performance.

“It’s all on coaching if you ask me,” Caldwell said. “If you have been around me long enough, you know we don’t ever back away from that. Every single bit of it, we’re responsible.” …

Needing a stop, the Lions defense stuffed Packers bruising running back Eddie Lacy on first and second down, before Rodgers beat the defense again, this time with his feet.

With the coverage taking away all his receiving options, Rodgers scrambled to his right, gaining 11 yards to convert the third-and-8.

“He just scrambled out of the pocket, broke contain and pick up the first down,” safety Glover Quin said. “It was the key play of the game.”


Clarity about racism

Facebook Friend Tim Nerenz:

I don’t know how many of you have seen a meme posted by Occupy Democrats recently in which a stern older white women giving a lecture on race dares the white people in her audience who wish to be treated the way society treats blacks to stand up. When no one does, she berates them and tells them it is because they know black people are mistreated by whites and are ashamed of themselves. The meme is advertised as “brilliant” and “thought provoking”. Well, it did indeed provoke a thought or two I decided to share here rather than be confrontational on someone else’s Facebook page.

The obvious question is why Colin Kaepernick is celebrated for his refusal to stand on command while these “white folks” who came to hear a lecture are castigated for it. And then I wonder what exactly -specifically – is it about how black people are “treated” by “white folks” in “this society” that we are supposed to consider when making this decision to stand or not stand? How are black professors treated differently than white professors? How are black judges treated differently than white judges? Or engineers, accountants, pastors, teachers, computer techs, architects, lawyers. NFL players, county supervisors, campaign staff, police officers, models, toll booth workers, welders……the list goes on.

Let’s get down to cases, starting with this lecture itself. Did the white people make the black people sit in back? Did the black people have to pay more to hear this woman talk? Were there snacks and beverages provided for the white people only? Did the white people make the black people clean up the hall when the talk was over? Didn’t all those people in the hall come from “this society? Were they flown in from some other society?

Let’s play some more of the racial stand-up game. Which of those white people in the audience advocates black-on-black crime? Stand up. Which of those white people advocate teen pregnancy and illegitimate births? Stand up. Who is forcing black kids to drop out of school? Who is encouraging black kids to join gangs and sell drugs? Or take drugs? Stand up! C’mon, you guys – stand up! Don’t predominantly black public schools receive more per-pupil funding than schools with few minority students? I would bet those white parents in Mercer, Wisconsin would gladly trade Milwaukee for the state school subsidy they each receive. Is that the sort of treatment she is talking about?

And If it is all about race, how does this woman explain Oprah, Clarence Thomas, Barack Obama, Beyonce, Condi Rice, Colin Powell, Herman Cain, Ben Carson, Prince, Mike Singletary etc.? Why not examine the millions of successful black people who have risen to the top of their professions and then talk about the choices they made to get themselves there? If she could tell her audiences why some people are successful when so many are not, THAT would be brilliant. And it would be helpful.

Her “very plain” (her words) conclusion for why nobody stood up is not brilliant at all – she states her own unproven belief that every white person in the room is a closeted (or not) racist ashamed of their privilege; aside from the irony that such a prejudicial condemnation based on skin color is the very definition of racism, it is most likely dead wrong. A more plausible explanation is that they were afraid to be humiliated by standing in response to such an obvious trap question from a belligerent and condescending tyrant with a microphone.

Here is a slightly more brilliant question – if white privilege is “very plain”, why do no mixed-race people (e.g. our President) not identify with the white half to claim the privilege? Why would privileged white people claim to be black to snag a gig with NAACP or claim to be indian to get a cushy job at Harvard and then elected to the Senate? Think about it – when is the last time you heard of a black person faking whiteness to tap into the privilege? Marrying a Kardashian does not count.

No one can dispute that statistically black people are worse off in this country in many important ways, but I would suggest that it is because people like this lady have gotten things their way during these past 60 years since segregation was replaced with affirmative action in the law. Her ideological rote recitation of white shaming rhetoric from the 50’s is considered “thought provoking” by Occupy Democrats. It probably provoked a thought in this lady’s head 50 years ago; from the short clip I have seen I can’t say if she has had any new ones since, and the ones that are in that head were probably put there by somebody talking down to her when she was the same age as those she is guilt-tripping on whatever campus this was filmed at.

Here is a thought provoking question: why is that a higher proportion of black people today have college degrees than did white people in the 1950s, and have not translated that 300% increase in educational attainment into the same levels of prosperity? Maybe the universities and colleges should re-evaluate their decisions to throw in with the leftist indoctrinators and go back to providing rigorous and relevant educational content. Real education can make any life matter.

The problem is not just that blacks today are not as well off as whites, it is that on balance, black people today are not as well off as their own grandparents – more live in poverty, more live in broken homes, more are unemployed, more are in prison, more live in unsafe neighborhoods, more have drug addictions, and more have abortions. All “white people”, did not bring this about; liberal white people did, by undermining the values that produce independent and productive adults and coherent civilizations, and ostracizing black leaders who speak up in favor of traditional values and individual liberty.

If you have a black child, who would you rather have come and speak to her about what she can do to be successful in life – Ben Carson or this whitey-stand-up lady? This lady would tell your little girl that she can’t be successful until all the white people in the audience stand up. Ben Carson would (I think) tell her not to wait for someone else; he would tell her to study hard, work even harder, respect others, marry once and marry well and THEN have children, trust in God, give to charity, volunteer, save money, avoid drugs, don’t commit crime, eat healthy and exercise, and obey the ten commandments. I suspect that Dr. Carson would make quite an impression on your little girl; conversely, I doubt that your little girl would remember the old white lady’s name in a week.

If there is any validity at all to the largely delusional notion of white privilege that is proving to be such a lucrative side gig for university professors who do not teach or do research that anyone reads, it is the privilege of being raised with traditional values; proportionately more white kids are raised in drug-free and crime-free homes with two parents, regular church attendance, continuous employment, discipline, and education as a priority. In households where these factors are present, black and white families are indistinguishable in terms of income, wealth, health, and levels of social dysfunction – suicide, drug abuse,sexual abuse, etc.

For centuries, medical practitioners were certain that infections were caused by too much blood, and the “settled science” treatment was to attach leeches. When the infections worsened, the smart people’s answer was always, more leeches. As fevers rose, the answer was, even more leeches. As the patient slipped into coma, still more leeches. And when the patient died, the cause of death was obvious: not enough leeches. Never did it occur to them that they were wrong about the cause of infection; and those who dared question the orthodoxy of the day were labeled deniers, banished from medical practice, and shunned by elite society. The word deplorables comes to mind.

This is pretty much the story of the progressive movement over the past century – guessing wrong about the causes for all the troubles in the world and answering every failure of their own policy prescriptions with demands for more leeches (government programs and tax dollars). Poverty does not cause sociological dysfunction; it is the other way around. Race is not a disability; embracing racial victimhood is.

Had I been in attendance at this lecture, I would have taken her challenge to stand up…and then walked out. That does not make a racist; it just means my mind has not been occupied by democrats. It was not a brilliant thought-provoking lecture clip, it was involuntary group therapy where only one person gets to talk.

Presty the DJ for Sept. 26

The number one song today in 1960:

The number one song today in 1964:

Today in 1965, Roger Daltrey was fired from The Who after he punched out drummer Keith Moon. Fortunately for Daltrey and the Who, he was unfired the next day. (Daltrey and Pete Townshend reportedly have had more fistfights than Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier.)

Continue reading “Presty the DJ for Sept. 26”

Presty the DJ for Sept. 25

The number one song today in 1965 was this pleasant-sounding, upbeat ditty guaranteed to leave a smile on your face:

That was on the same day that ABC-TV premiered a cartoon, “The Beatles”:

The number one British song today in 1968:

Today in 1970 was the premiere of a sitcom based on the Cowsills:

Unlike the Cowsills, only two members of the on-camera Partridge Family performed with the Partridge Family band (which were a group of session musicians): David Cassidy, who sang lead, and Shirley Jones, who sang backup vocals.

Today in 1975, singer Jackie Wilson suffered a heart attack while singing “Lonely Teardrops” in a casino in New Jersey. The heart attack caused brain damage, and Wilson died in 1984.

Today in 1982, viewers of NBC-TV’s “Saturday Night Live” got to see Queen:

Today in 1989, viewers of “Saturday Night Live” got to see Neil Young:

Britain’s number one single today in 2006 wasn’t from a British act (though the song was written by Elton John):

Birthdays start with John Locke (not the philosopher) of Spirit:

Owen “Onnie” McIntyre of the Average White Band:

Burleigh Drummond played, what else, drums for Ambrosia:

Two deaths of note:  today in 1980, John “Bonzo” Bonham, drummer for Led Zeppelin, died of a vodka overdose:

Today in 1999, Stephen Canaday of the Ozark Mountain Daredevils died when his World War II plane stalled and crashed into a tree: