Cohen lawyer: “It’s a crime because he plead guilty to it”

August 23, 2018

Say, what?

That’s the central argument being proffered by Lanny Davis – Michael Cohen’s lawyer (and longtime lawyer for the Clintons).

Interviewed by a well-prepped Martha McCallum,  Davis — playing defense — argued that there is certainly a campaign law violation:

Explicitly, because Cohen plead guilty to a campaign violation, and …

Implicitly, because the prosecutors – who had the facts – included the campaign violation in the plea deal.

imageclick to view … or keep reading

Let’s unpack Davis’ logic…

Read the rest of this entry »

Trump’s Space Force is a dumb idea … or is it?

August 22, 2018

After reading …

Bret Baier’s Three Days in Moscow: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of the Soviet Empire

… and Michael Pillsbury’s The Hundred Year Marathon: China’s Strategy to Replace America as the Global Superpower

I think Trump may be on to something.



Let’s drill down…

Read the rest of this entry »

It’s not Russia that we should be worrying about … it’s China!

August 21, 2018

And, here are China’s 9 strategic principles.


One of my summer reads has been The Hundred Year Marathon: China’s Strategy to Replace America as the Global Superpower by Michael Pillsbury.


Pillsbury is a bona fide China expert, having served 8 administrations in a variety of high-level positions in the state and defense departments and having worked for heralded think tanks, including RAND and the Hudson Institute.

Note: To me, guy seems very credible since (a) he footnotes every major point with compelling source documentation, and (b) he is very self-effacing – often pointing out the mistakes that he had made in his China analyses.

As the title indicates, Pillsbury concludes that China is about midway through a 100-year strategy to replace the U.S. as the global superpower…

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About the bruhaha over security clearances…

August 20, 2018

Thanks to John Brennan for opening a veritable can of worms.


Let’s start with some basics.

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It’s not your imagination, people are really getting dumber.

August 17, 2018

That’s the conclusion from a recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

The researchers that the  increase in population intelligence observed throughout the 20th century has peaked and has now gone into reverse.


More specifically…

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Who’s your daddy?

August 16, 2018

Ancestry DNA tests are delivering some shockers.


Yesterday, we wrote about a relatively common situation: ancestry DNA results that don’t jive with a person’s prior beliefs regarding their race or heritage.

See Here’s a way to get your kid into a better college…

Let’s open another of Pandora’s DNA boxes today…


The NY Post ran an article titled “My ancestry test revealed a genetic bombshell”.

Read the rest of this entry »

Here’s a way to get your kid into a better college…

August 15, 2018

Instead of submitting SAT scores, take an ancestry-DNA test.


Let’s open Pandora’s box today…

As previously reported, some colleges are no longer requiring (or accepting) SAT & ACT scores

See University of Chicago drops SAT / ACT scores … say, what?

The action is a thinly veiled move  to “diversify” the student body by throttling the number of high scoring Asian-American admissions.


I’m not a big fan of the commercial DNA testing done by ancestry sites.

But, they may be a tool for getting kids into better colleges.

Read the rest of this entry »

About the recent spike in interest rates…

August 14, 2018

I’ve started paying closer attention to interest rates.

The motivation: my trusty mortgage ARM — which hovered around 3% for a decade or so — jumped to 4% last year and is being reset to 5% this year.




That got me wondering about the the impact of rising rates on the Federal budget…

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GOP narrowing the Congressional “generic ballot” gap, but…

August 13, 2018

Will ‘hate trump love’ in the midterm elections?

Lots of chatter re: a forthcoming ‘blue wave’ in the 2018 midterms.

The usual quantitative metric is the so-called Generic Congressional Ballot …. which queries folks on which parties’ (unnamed) Congressional candidate they’re likely to vote for.

At the end of 2017, the Dems had a 13 point advantage.

That gap has narrowed to under 4 points in the RCP poll-of-polls.


And, the the most recent individual polls indicate that the gap is continuing to close…

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To hyphenate or not to hyphenate?

August 10, 2018

That’s a question I seem to struggle with…

The good news is that a linguistics professor  found that 4 simple rules cover 75% of cases that writers encounter.



Here are Prof. Christina Sanchez-Stockhammer’s four rules…

Read the rest of this entry »

Parents: Stash your cell phones !

August 9, 2018

New studies raise concerns re: “distracted parenting”.


Lots written lately re: kids spending too much “screen time” on iPads, computers and cellphones … and too little time reading, exploring and conversing.

All true … and much concerning.


A recent analysis in The Atlantic stipulates to the cognitive development dangers of kids spending too much time glued to screens … but concludes that “When it comes to children’s development, parents should worry less about kids’ screen time—and more about their own.”

Here’s the essence of the argument…

Read the rest of this entry »

Geez, who can I have faith in?

August 8, 2018

Now OSU coach Urban Meyer is suspect.

This is a very sad personal story.


Raised as a Catholic kid, I was taught that priests were pure as the fresh driven snow.

Then came the revelations that priests were fiddling with altar boys and the Church was covering up for them.


My first job out of college was with Arthur Andersen … a squeaky clean Big 8 accounting firm.

Technical note: yes, there used to be 8 !

When some rogue partners got in cahoots with Enron shysters, the Feds brought down the entire firm.

Technical note: The Fed charges were eventually overturned by the SCOTUS.


In my dumbest blog post ever, in December 2015, I heralded James Comey as the “last honest man” and endorsed him for President.

See My nomination for President … experience, integrity, leadership.

Oucn. At the time, I didn’t suspect that he was just a run of the mill political hack.


Fast forward to today…

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How do you feel about your bank giving your financial detail to Facebook?

August 7, 2018

Yesterday, we asked how you felt about ancestry sites selling your DNA data to drug companies.

See How do you feel about 23&Me selling your DNA to drug companies?

Today, let’s go a step further.

The WSJ was the first to report that Facebook has asked large U.S. banks to share detailed financial information about their customers, including card transactions and checking-account balances


Think about that for a minute…

Read the rest of this entry »

How do you feel about 23&Me selling your DNA to drug companies?

August 6, 2018

Maybe privacy just doesn’t matter any more.

I was a bit surprised when a group of friends were chatting about DNA testing thru 23andMe, and other sites.


As usual, I was an outlier since I’m skeptical of the science and worry about the privacy implications…

Read the rest of this entry »

CNN: “Trump has no earthly clue what the average person is dealing with day to day”

August 3, 2018

That’s what Jen Psaki, a CNN political commentator says.

The silly talk (and bias) is getting sillier and sillier.

Here’s the backstory…

At a campaign rally this week, President Trump was pitching the need for voters to show a photo ID.

To illustrate the point, he rattled off a list of places that require IDs: airports, bars, gun shops … and he slipped in: grocery stores.

Obviously out of touch says CNN’s Psaki. Source



Let’s drill down on that, Jen.

Read the rest of this entry »

Finding college-caliber disadvantaged high-schoolers …

August 2, 2018

Universal SAT / ACT testing  “finds” talented low-income college candidates
Recently, some name-brand colleges have announced that they would no longer require SAT or ACT test results.

The rationale: the tests may be culturally biased, dampening diversity.


Taking another tack, the Brooking Institution recently published a study suggesting that diversity can be enhanced with more, not less, SAT/ACT testing.


Entrance exams (ACT or SAT ) are required for admission to virtually all selective colleges in the US.

For low-income students, that’s a hurdle to overcome.

Students have to register and pay for these tests, and then travel to a testing center on a weekend to take them.

This is straightforward, if you have internet access, a computer, a credit card, and a car.

If you are missing any of these resources, it’s a lot more challenging.

The nearest testing center may be in a suburb that is unreachable by public transportation early on a Saturday morning.

To overcome these hurdles, several states are now giving the ACT or SAT exams in school, for free, on a school day during school hours.

The benefits are two-fold …

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Which TV news source is “most trusted”?

August 1, 2018

The answer may surprise you.

A survey outfit called Brand Keys periodically measures a “Customer Loyalty and Engagement Index” that examines 1,287 brands across 150 categories to determine how much “trust” contributed to each brand’s engagement and market success.

For  TV “brands”, 4,012 viewers rated broadcast and cable brands that they regularly watch to determine how much trust those brands engendered. Source




The tightly bunched  “most trusted TV brands” at the top of the list are the BBC, Fox News and PBS.

Bloomberg and MSNBC fall in the middle of the pack.

The bottom of the pack are the Big 3 networks and CNN.


What about ratings?

Read the rest of this entry »

Facial recognition: Why not in schools?

July 31, 2018

Some schools are already doing it!

Many schools have security systems that include cameras sending live feeds that are monitored by security personnel.

The AP reports that some Lockport, NY  schools are going a step further by implementing facial recognition technology that checks each face against a database of expelled students, sex offenders, disgruntled employees and other possible troublemakers.


In addition, the system can be programmed to scan for some weapon “tells” (think: guns or knives in waistbands) and can be matched against a complete file of student and faculty pictures.

Though the system has potential life-saving benefits, some folks are opposing it…

Read the rest of this entry »

Great moments in facial recognition……

July 30, 2018

The Chinese have a novel application for the technology. 


According to the AP

To boost tourism, bathrooms at some Chinese tourist sites now use facial recognition to keep visitors from grabbing too much toilet paper.

Yep, you read that right.

Picture source

Here are the details…

Read the rest of this entry »

Studies: More time on Facebook … and it’s not good for you.

July 27, 2018

“Negatively associated with overall well-being … particularly mental health”.


At the risk of piling on during FB’s stock “correction” (single day drop of 20%), let’s connect a couple of recently reported studies …

First, the BLS periodically reports how Americans spend their leisure time.

According to the NYT, channeling the most recent BLS report:

The average time that users spend on Facebook is nearing an hour.


Putting that hour of Facebook in perspective:

That’s more than any other leisure activity surveyed … with the exception of watching television programs and movies (an average per day of 2.8 hours).

It’s more time than people spend reading (19 minutes); participating in sports or exercise (17 minutes); or social events (four minutes).

It’s almost as much time as people spend eating and drinking (1.07 hours). NYT


And, a recent study published by the Harvard Business Review indicates that all that Facebook time is unhealthy.

Read the rest of this entry »

Facial recognition: This could be a big idea…

July 26, 2018

We’ve previously posted how facial recognition has been gaining traction at airports, in some schools, on Chinese streets and even in some amusement parks.

Recently, NY Gov. Cuomo announced that cameras with facial recognition software were being installed to spot criminals in some of the state’s traffic tunnels, bridges and other choke points.



More specifically…


Gov. Cuomo revealed that facial-recognition cameras were already in place at  bridge and tunnel toll plazas across the state.

The cameras scan drivers’ faces and feed them into databases to catch suspected criminals.

“We are now moving to facial-recognition technology which takes it to a whole new level, where it can see the face of the person in the car and run that technology against databases.”

When a match is made, an alarm is triggered for follow-up by law enforcement.

In China, images are posted to real-time digital billboards to shame perps.

See More great moments in facial recognition

My hunch: This is less of a tool to nab petty offenders … more intended to deter or sang terrorists.

That would make it a big idea.


Of course, civil libertarians oppose the use of facial recognition as an invasion of privacy … and claim that facial recognition is unreliable for children and “persons of color”.

The former is true since kids’ facial structures change rapidly as they age and grow … but, kids don’t drive, right?

The claim that facial recognition isn’t accurate for persons of color is a headscratcher.

Think about it for a minute or two…


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Words really do matter … especially in a kid’s early years.

July 25, 2018

Interesting study reported in The Atlantic

A pair of psychologists – Betty Hart and Todd Risley –  got curious about why some 3 and 4 year old kids are more academically ready than others.

“They devised a novel (and exhaustive) methodology: for more than three years, they sampled the actual words spoken to young children from 42 families at 3 different socioeconomic levels: (1) welfare homes, (2) working-class homes, and (3) professionals’ homes. Then they tallied the quantity and quality of the words spoken to the kids. “


The results were – in the words of the researchers – “astounding”…

Read the rest of this entry »

Amazon and the “power of free” …

July 24, 2018

Over the weekend, Bernie Sanders and NY Dem Congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez were barnstorming deep-red states with their Progressive platform: Medicare for all, free college, minimum wage, guaranteed job, etc. Source

Many dismiss the ideas as unaffordable pie-in-the-sky.

But in class, I always preached: Don’t underestimate the “power of free”.

Here’s a real life example to prove the point.


Everybody knows that Amazon’s free shipping program has been a resounding success.

So much so. that the company has announced that it will be moving the minimum qualifying order up from $25 to $35 … inducing shoppers to fill  their carts fuller or switch to the highly profitable Amazon Prime program.

The free shipping program’s success was highly predictable based an an apparently inadvertent “matched market test” that Amazon did.



Here’s the skinny on the Amazon’s inadvertent market test …

Read the rest of this entry »

We saved their butts twice and they still haven’t forgiven us…

July 23, 2018

This is cleaned up paraphrases a classic slam at the French for underappreciating the U.S. role in both World Wars.

It came to mind when I read a Los Angeles Times article over the weekend.



The gist of the article is that Trump — by calling on NATO members to meet their 2% of GDP defense commitment and by not wholeheartedly promising to defend Montenegro — has given NATO members cause to question whether the U.S. is a reliable ally.

Say, what?

Let’s dig a little deeper…

Read the rest of this entry »

Red Notice: A timely book to read…

July 20, 2018

One of the early advantages about retirement is finally having time to read books that have little or nothing to do with my courses…

First up: was Red Notice.  Recommended by my son, long before this week’s Russia events and reactions..



This was an engaging read … and provides an interesting back-drop to the current Russia bruhaha…


In a nutshell:

Browder was a brash, recently minted Stanford MBA who moved to Russia and built Hermitage Capital … a hedge fund that rose to prominence as the biggest foreign investor in Russian businesses.

Browder leveraged keen financial analysis to identify market anomalies and undervalued assets … and had brass balls, utilizing aggressive strategies against Russia’s oligarchs and Putin’s government.

Predictably, taking on Putin ended badly.

Browder – and most of his team- got out of Russia, avoiding incarceration and physical harm.

But, one of his lawyers – Sergei Magnitsky – was jailed by the Russians, tortured in an attempt to get him to turn on Browder, and eventually beaten to death.

Browder turned Magnitsky’s death into a human rights case against Russia … and was the driver behind the Magnitsky Act which banned the perpetrators from the U.S. – establishing a blueprint for other human rights violators.


The biggest takeaways were Browder’s keen investment analyses … and his gross underestimation of Russian brutality against perceived enemies of the state.

No doubt about it … Putin is one mean & nasty dude…

Update: For more detail, see today’s WSJ editorial Donald Trump, Meet Bill Browder

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Is Russia really “an oil and gas company masquerading as a country”?

July 19, 2018

That’s the characterization usually attributed to Se. Lindsey Graham.

Let’s drill down on that, starting with some GDP stats.

Russia’s GDP is only about $1.5 trillion.



Let’s out that number in perspective…

Read the rest of this entry »

Rand Paul cuts to the chase re: meddling…

July 18, 2018

Though often annoying, Rand Paul is consistent on a couple of important issues (think privacy and non-intervention) … and has an ability to to hone in on pivotal conclusions.

This week — after the Trump-Putin meeting — Sen. Paul cut to the chase on Russia’s meddling in the 2016 elections…

Read the rest of this entry »

Flashback: Obama schools Romney that “Russia isn’t a threat”

July 17, 2018

President Trumps is getting blasted for his presser with Putin.

“Naïve,  Disgusting, Disgraceful. Treasonous.”

Just a minute guys…

Remember the 2012 Presidential debates?

A key moment was when President Obama ridiculed Gov. Romney’s knowledge of foreign affairs.

Given the current hysteria over Russia, the clip is a classic …  try to stay calm when it


Here’s more that’ll should make you scream …

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NYT gets it half-right re: NATO

July 16, 2018

Have to admit, I had to do a double-take when I saw this non-Trump-bashing New York Times headline:


More specifically, referring to NATO’s 2% defense spending guideline, the Times editorial read:

Now that the smoke has cleared from the NATO summit meeting, the most tangible result is apparent:

President Trump advanced President Barack Obama’s initiative to keep the allies on track to shoulder a more equitable share of NATO’s costs.

Hat tip to the Times for getting this one half-right.

Here’s the half that they didn’t get right…

Read the rest of this entry »

About Strzok’s “out of scope” polygraph…

July 13, 2018

Why aren’t lawmakers (and pundits) drilling down on this apparent smoking gun?

One of the few points raised in the Strozk hearing yesterday that caught my attention emerged from Rep. Collins’ questioning.

Collins asked Strzok when he last passed a polygraph test.



After some bantering and parsing, a couple of points were established:

1) Strzok said that he last took a polygraph 2 or 3 years ago

2) Strzok confirmed that he (and his superiors) were notified in January 2016 that his polygraph was “out of scope”

3) The FBI took no action based on the out of scope notification.

Hmm … aroused my curiosity.

Here’s what I’ve been able to piece together…

Read the rest of this entry »

Disruptive innovation: How the iPhone has shaped a new generation.

July 12, 2018

Researchers say that not all of the “shaping” has been good.


Last year, when Apple celebrated the 10th Anniversary of the iPhone and launch of iPhone X, CEO Tim Cook boasted:

Having sold over one billion units and enabling millions of apps that have become essential to people’s daily routine …

The iPhone redefined how consumers live, work, communicate, and entertain.

I chalked it up as marketing hype, but then …

Then I started reading a  book (coincidence?) called iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy–and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood.

The author is Jean Twenge, a psychology prof with a specialty in “generational differences” who is credited with coining the newest generation “iGen”.

Amazon link

Prof Twenge agrees with Cook’s basic claim that the iPhone has redefined life.

But, she argues, not all of the redefinition is positive … specifically highlighting the decline in in-person social interaction and a sharp rise in mental health issues among iGens.

Let’s start at the beginning ….

Read the rest of this entry »

The elephant in NATO’s room…

July 11, 2018

Heavy dependence on Russian oil.

NATO’s primary mission is to keep it’s member countries safe … mostly from Russia, right?

But, as we posted yesterday, key NATO nations (think: Germany) are hesitant to spend 2% of their GDP on defense … and are largely dependent on U.S. troops to protect NATO’s eastern flank and police the rest of the world.

Given that Russia is a lot closer to Europe than to the U.S. … why aren’t European nations more energized to defend themselves more aggressively and more visibly against the Russians?



The answer can be summed up in one word…

Read the rest of this entry »

All you need to know about NATO funding…

July 10, 2018

Trump is right about the NATO reliance on the U.S.


Lot of chatter in the run-up to this week’s NATO meeting.

Trump says that the U.S. piggybanks of NATO’s funding.

MSM fact-checkers say that Trump is way off base.

So, who is right?


I did some digging and here’s what I found…

Read the rest of this entry »

Tonite: Trump’s SCOTUS pick

July 9, 2018

Regardless, the end of “legislating from the bench” … at least for a couple of decades

Tonight, President Trump will announce his nomination for the Supreme Court.

The left is understandably in panic mode … but, in my opinion, for the wrong reasons.

News reports say that Trump has narrowed the field to 4 candidates.


Here’s my rundown … and my grand conclusion…

Read the rest of this entry »

Happy? Sad? Excited? … Facebook can tell.

July 6, 2018

And, has been caught doing just that.


It always amazes me what people post on Facebook. Their daily activities, their deepest emotions – you name it.

By now, every Facebook user should know that FB sifts through their content – posts, pictures, links, emojis – to determine, for example, what topics are hot; what people are doing; which brands people are buying, recommending, trashing or considering; whether users are feeling happy, sad, scared, excited.

The latter is called “sentiment analysis” using computer algorithms to take users’ “emotional pulse”.

Of course, FB promises that they’ll protect users’ privacy and would never even consider divulging that information to outsiders, say, advertisers or political campaigns.


Bad news for believers: FB was caught “sharing” sentiment analysis data.


According to USA Today

Documents leaked to a newspaper, The Australian, indicate that Facebook executives prepared a report for one of the country’s top banks.

The report described how Facebook gleans psychological insights into the mood shifts of millions of young people in Australia and New Zealand by monitoring their status updates and photos.

The 23-page report showed Facebook’s ability to detect when users as young as 14 are feeling emotions such as defeat, stress, anxiety or being overwhelmed … and. other information on young people’s emotional well-being such as when they exhibit “nervous-excitement” are “conquering fears“.

FB claimed that it can track how emotions fluctuate during the week.

Anticipatory emotions are more likely to be expressed early in the week.

Reflective emotions increase on the weekend.

Monday-Thursday is about building confidence.

The weekend is for broadcasting achievements.

At a relatively benign level, advertisers can use that information to target ads to certain age groups … and they can time them to run on a certain day.

That’s apparently what FB got caught doing – revealing anonymous and aggregated data – to a potential advertising client.


Let’s go a step further…

According to the article: “Facebook has also come under heavy scrutiny in the past for secretly conducting research that manipulated the emotions of users by altering what they see in their News Feed without their consent.”

So, it doesn’t take much creativity to imagine the collection and dissemination of individuals’ sentiment data that could be used to target advertising to specific individuals at specific times – say, when they’re feeling down and are vulnerable to buying certain products geared to giving them a pick-me-up, say, some new clothes, a fancy car or miracle drug.

Pretty unnerving, right?

Of course, FB assures users that it would never consider divulging that sort of data.

Yeah, right.


Connecting dots

In a prior post, we reported on a study that concluded time on Facebook can be hazardous to your mental health.

For details see Studies: More time on Facebook … and it’s not good for you.

So, being on Facebook can make you emotionally vulnerable.

Facebook can determine when you’re vulnerable.

Facebook can sell that info to advertisers.

But, FB assures us that it won’t sell that data.

Whew … that’s a relief.



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Are you a maximizer or satisficer?

July 5, 2018

Interesting piece from the WSJ

Psychology researchers have studied how people make decisions and concluded there are two basic styles.

“Maximizers” like to take their time and weigh a wide range of options—sometimes every possible one—before choosing.

“Satisficers” would rather be fast than thorough; they prefer to quickly choose the option that fills the minimum criteria (the word “satisfice” blends “satisfy” and “suffice”).

“Maximizers are people who want the very best.

Satisficers are people who want good enough,”


Take the quick test below to see if you’re a maximizer or satisficer…. and see what the implications are.. 

Read the rest of this entry »

Happy 4th of July !

July 4, 2018

Take a moment to remember how lucky we are …




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Great Moments in Education: Proud Americans

July 3, 2018

Recently, two  of my grandkids — Maddie & Ryne — “graduated” from pre-school and are ready to start kindergarten in the fall.

Both graduation ceremonies were awesome.

I love the pomp & circumstances that elevate the importance of education.

At Ryne’s ceremony, the parental crowd broke into applause when the kids presented their rendition of “Proud to Be An American”.

Very appropriate to the July 4th run-up.

If your battery needs charging, click the pic below to view a 15-second snippet.

There’s still hope ..


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Dilbert asks: “Who wants a dangerous man in the White House?”

July 2, 2018

Well, not actually Dilbert … rather Dilbert’s author Scott Adams.


With all of the MSM “Trump is a wild & crazy guy” hysteria … coupled with the apparent progress on the NOKO scene … I was reminded of a prior (and once again timely) post.

During the Presidential campaign, Adams hit the nail on the head on his Dilbert blog, …


Adams observed that, during the campaign, , Hillary’s constant refrain that we can’t have a loose cannon in the White House.



Adam’s cut to the chase on on “Dangerous Trump”:

Read the rest of this entry »

Thank you, Senator Harry Reid

June 29, 2018

The perils of being “too cute by half”

Big week for the Supreme Court … leaves liberals in panic mode … and conservatives doing an end zone dance.


First, Trump’s travel ban (version 3.0) was ruled to be within the Presidential authority to secure the nation.

Then, a  ruling that merchants need not violate their religious beliefs to serve everybody.  (The Red Hen Restaurant should be happy about that).

And finally, a ruling that government employee unions can’t make employees cough up money that gets laundered through to the DNC to elect bosses.


So, what has that got to do with Harry Reid?

Read the rest of this entry »

Great moments in marketing: Trump gives a shout-out to “My Pillow”…

June 28, 2018

…. and the liberal media still doesn’t get “it”.

Last night – at a rally in Fargo, North Dakota – during his intro-salutes to attending politicians and uber-supporters – Pres. Trump gave a shout-out to Mike Lindell – founder and CEO of a company called My Pillow.

The crowd roared … and the liberal blogosphere and MSM lit up: “undignified”, “beneath the office”, “shameless marketing on behalf of a supporter”, etc.

The clip (below) is worth viewing for sheer entertainment value.



And, here’s what the hysterians are missing…

Read the rest of this entry »

Quiz time: Where are the controversial immigrants coming from?

June 27, 2018

Emotions are running high … and polarized positions are hardening.

Seems like a good time for a map test, right?

Where are the controversial immigrants coming from?

I’ll give you a hint: Central America via Mexico.

Can you name the countries?

Better yet, can you spot them on a map?

Below is a map of Central America with  countries tagged A to F.

Take out a piece of paper, write down the letters and the county names.

Don’t just “imagine” the names … write them down.



Here are the answers…

Read the rest of this entry »

University of Chicago drops SAT / ACT scores … say, what?

June 26, 2018

While I was beaching, my MBA alma mater – the University of Chicago recently announced that it will no longer require its American undergraduate applicants to submit ACT or SAT scores.

“The new policy is meant to help even the playing field for students coming from low-income and underrepresented communities.”


The intent is certainly commendable, but the policy strikes me as problematic…

Read the rest of this entry »

What I learned at the beach…

June 25, 2018

Easing back into the “real” world with a couple of takeaways from beach week…

1) While a dying breed, there are still families.  It’s fun being with your’s … and fun watching other families have fun … especially multi-generational families (<= grandparent bias).


2) I can live without Diet Coke and TV news

Read the rest of this entry »

Beach Week …

June 18, 2018

Taking a break … back next week.


Bethany Beach, Delaware


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IG lost the forest in the trees!

June 15, 2018

… and, I haven’t heard pundits argue the case either.

I’ll give IG Horowitz the benefit of the doubt re: his team’s investigation and conclusions.

click to read the report

But, there was, in my opinion, a glaring omission…

Read the rest of this entry »

Vital Friends: The People You Can’t Afford To Live Without.

June 14, 2018

From the summer reading pile.  I read ’em so you don’t have to …

Rath argues that “vital friends” play one or more of 8 roles.

Which of the role(s) do you play?  Which do each of your vital friends play?

Read the rest of this entry »

IHOP decides to kickass on burger chains… say, what?

June 13, 2018

Changing name to IHOB … or are they?

Just in case you the news got drowned out by the NOKO Summit …

IHOP announced that the company was rebranding … from P is for pancakes to B is for burgers.


Marketing brilliance or pure folly?

Here’s my take …

Read the rest of this entry »

NOKO Summit: Rodman steals the show.

June 12, 2018

One of the most amazing interviews I’ve ever seen

Last night, I was flipping channels to see both sides of the NOKO analysis.

When I clicked to CNN, my reaction was “what the hell?”

There was Chris Cuomo interviewing Dennis Rodman – who was bedecked in a ‘Make America Great Again’ and sporting a t-shirt.


I put down the remote, figuring the interview would provide some comic relief to the looping partisan analyses I’d been hearing.

That’s not what I got.

I doubt that it was what Cuomo expected either.

My bet: the CNN storyline was supposed to be that Trump was relying on “The Worm” – Rodman’s NBA nickname – for diplomatic advice … demonstrating how shallow and unprepared Trump was for the talks.

That’s not the way things turned out.

Here are some highlights…

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Hack alert: Don’t be so quick to “unsubscribe” …

June 11, 2018

The obvious became evident to me …


Last week, we whined about nuisance phone calls and recommended that everybody let all unidentified calls go unanswered … with an opportunity to go to voicemail, of course.

No voicemail … not important or urgent … and probably a robot.

I forgot to mention that there’s an internet variant of the pesky robocalls….


Everybody gets more email solicitations than they want, right?

So, how to stop them?

Easy answer: click the Federally required “unsubscribe” link.


Err, not so fast … might cause a problem bigger than an overflowing email box …

How so?

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