Friday, September 21, 2018

What’s Going On?

Well, I really have missed doing my September 11 timeline. My daughters have asked about that, and I want them to understand it a little better. That’s part of the reason for resurrecting this.

Sadly, I lost control of the chrisofrights.com domain. This is now hosted at chrisofrights.blog. Hopefully, I can eventually reclaim chrisofrights.com. Time will tell.

What will I be talking about? Kind of the same. Mostly national politics, although I have more interest in local stuff lately as well. I’ve turned my computer sports ratings app off for the time being, but I’ll still likely talk a little bit about college sports.

I’ve always enjoyed doing a little bit of history. So, I’ll continue doing that.

And, whatever else comes to mind.

As I said, the other day. Stay tuned!

Thursday, September 20, 2018

I’m baaaaaaaaackkkkkk!

After a six year hiatus, I plan on blogging again. Blog posts will likely be shorter than before, but hopefully a bit more frequent. Definitely more frequent than the last 6 years.  I’ve been doing a lot of short political thoughts on Facebook, and I’ve just decided that I’m not a fan of that platform for this kind of thing. I know that this means that my ideas will have a shorter reach. Maybe no one will read them but me. But that’s fine. I’ve always used the blog as more of a way to vent, than with the hope of actually reaching people.


Anyway, stay tuned. There’s more to come!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

#INSen

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again. Richard Mourdock (R-IN) was a bad candidate. But Senator-elect Joe Donnelly (D-IN) was also a bad candidate. He was picked by the IN Democrats to be the sacrificial lamb to Senator Dick Lugar (R-IN), because he wasn't going to hold his congressional seat (congrats to Congresswoman-elect Jackie Walorski (R-IN02)), and because they couldn't find anyone else to run.

That’s the God’s honest truth.

We are conservative in IN, with down home family values. But because of that, we like to think that we're above the partisan fray in Washington. We like to think that we can elect common sense folk who can work to get things done, regardless of party. That’s why our state house changes from red to blue so often and so does our governor’s mansion. It’s why we elect people like former Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN), and former Senator Dick Lugar (R-IN).

The difference between Donnelly and Mourdock was that Donnelly ran a terrific campaign right from the start and Mourdock ran an awful one right from the start. A lot of people will point to Mourdock’s comments about rape in the debate as the reason he lost. But he was in trouble long before then. Donnelly painted Mourdock as an extremist, before a lot of people in IN even knew who Mourdock was. And he continued to hammer that theme home right up until election day. It was a great strategy. It defined Mourdock as the opposite of a common sense person who would just work to get things done. Mourdock was never able to overcome that, and he was never able to turn it around on Donnelly either, who is just as much of an extremist as Mourdock (more so in my mind, but that’s just my opinion). Mourdock instead decided to attach Donnelly to President Obama (D-USA) and ObamaCare. The problem is that there are a lot of people in IN that still like Obama. And even more that still like ObamaCare. By sticking with that attack, Mourdock put a ceiling on his numbers, and never had a chance to break through it.

It’s easy for me to Wednesday morning quarterback, but Mourdock should have spent more time telling us a) what he would do for IN, b) what Donnelly would do for IN, c) that Donnelly was the extremist in the race, and d) that he wasn’t the extremist Donnelly claimed he was. I’m not sure he spent any significant time on ANY of those items. Certainly nothing he said or did to those ends sticks out in my mind. Instead it was just “Donnelly will vote in lockstep with Obama” over and over.

I know this blog has been quiet for a while. It will likely continue to remain so. What motivates me to blog is most anger and frustration, although sometimes it’s happiness. I’ve seen the writing on the wall here for months, and I’ve been resigned to the outcome. That emotion doesn’t inspire me to blog, but instead inspires me to work harder at my job and spend more time with my family. Take care of you and yours and peek in here from time to time. I’m sure I’ll continue to have things to say, just on an infrequent basis.

The Painful Truth

I could’ve written this post a week ago. I waited. But the writing was on the wall, even then.

First:

Believe the polls. It’s fine to analyze the internals of the polls and point out when they don’t make sense. It’s particularly reasonable to do this when it’s six months out from the election, and no one knows what the electorate is going to look like. But when it gets down to three, two, and one week before the election, and you’re still not believing the polls, the problem is likely your premise, not theirs. Just the other day, I saw a rather famous person in the conservative Twittersphere picking apart a Rasmussen poll. Now, Rasmussen is consistently one of the friendliest polls to the GOP, and yet this person was still saying that if X on the poll was wrong and Y was wrong, that it was good for Romney. Sorry, but if you’re doing that a few days out from the election, and with the best poll you’ve got, it smacks of desperation. RCP poll averages are generally just about right. Remember that.

Second:

Nate Silver was right. If he got Virginia right, then he may have gone 50 for 50. I don’t know. I haven’t checked. Silver’s method is basically sound. I think there are things that could be done to improve it. But it’s basically ok. You can duplicate a significant part of his work in less than an hour in Excel. Just use the RCP poll numbers, and the Monte Carlo function in Excel. If you’d done that, you would’ve gotten results very similar to Silver’s. A lot of people on the right owe Silver an engraved apology today.

Third:

It’s fine to want party purity, but you also have to nominate good candidates. Richard Mourdock (R-IN) was a bad candidate (more on this race in another post). So were others. And if you didn’t know that 6 months ago, then you weren’t paying attention. This blog told you that Mourdock was a bad candidate at least 8 months ago. More than once. Now, yes, I am just as much to blame as others here. I voted for Mourdock in the primary, knowing he was a bad candidate. I thought that former Senator Dick Lugar (R-IN) would come around, and in the 2012 environment, in a red state, that even a bad candidate would win. I was wrong.

Fourth:

NRSC, you have some serious egg on your face this morning. Yes, you can only work with the candidates you have. And you’re powerless when they say something stupid. And you can’t force them to run a good campaign. But you can help out with direction, and with education on how not to say something stupid in front of the camera. You didn’t. You failed. A lot of last night’s Senate debacle falls on you. Yes, a lot falls on organizations like Freedomworks who were more interested in party purity than in winning, but you need to take your share of the blame as well.

Fifth:

If there’s a group with more egg on their faces than the NRSC, it’s the conservative punditocracy. I expect partisan spin from you. I expect optimism. But you went far past that into partisan cheerleading. You weren’t just optimistic, you were confident. Excessively so. Some of you were ebullient. With no logical reason to be so. You need to take a long hard look in the mirror and figure out why that was and why you let us down, so that it won’t happen again. Spin is ok, but if I can’t get the truth from you, even when it’s bad, then you’re no better to me than MSNBC. The conservative blogosphere seems more isolated in an echo chamber than the “inside the beltway” crowd, if that’s possible. And that’s unacceptable.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

It's 12:06 PM September 11, 2001 - Where Are You?


12:06 PM

US airspace is clear of aircraft except for military and emergency flights. Only a few transoceanic flights are still landing in Canada.

September 11, 2001.
Where were you?

2,996 souls were lost on that day, including 343 of New York's Bravest and New York's Finest who gave their lives trying to save others.

Oh, where was I during all of this? In a meeting. No one bothered to interrupt the meeting to mention what was happening. After the meeting, I walked out to my car, somehow managing not to talk to a single person. I got in the car and drove home for lunch, without turning on the radio. I got home, made myself a sandwich, sat down at about 12:05 PM, turned on the TV and discovered that the world had changed while I wasn't looking. Rudy Giuliani has said it best, many times (paraphrasing). "We learned on September 11, 2001 that we were at war. The other side had known they were at war for quite some time, but we didn't know it."

There's a very poignant picture on the NY Times website from 9/11/2006, with the caption "The Hole in the City's Heart"

Where were you?


And this is how the 9/11 Memorial looks today, September 11, 2012.


On September 12, we all promised ourselves that we'd never forget the events of that day. Have you kept that promise?

The times and events listed here are a very small excerpt of what's available at the Cooperative Research History Commons. The whole thing is well worth a read, if you have the time (it's extremely long). I’ve left out quite a bit, including many of the actions at the White House, Pentagon, NORAD, etc. There were many heroic decisions and actions made that day. And some less than heroic ones. Right guesses and wrong guesses; it’s all there at the link above. There’s quite a bit about Delta Flight 1989, which I didn’t cover, although I’m still unsure if that was a good idea. Delta Flight 1989? There was nothing wrong with it, but circumstances led the people on the ground to believe that it was the fifth hijacked plane. The timeline also seems to have been taken over by some 9/11 “truthers” in the last few years, so there’s more stuff to wade through than there used to be.

Too many of us seem to have forgotten what happened that day, and what it felt like to live through it and the following days. I forget myself sometimes, but the yearly exercise of doing this brings it all rushing back. Producing this is an emotionally draining exercise to say the least.

As I indicated earlier, Russia was conducting a military exercise in the North Atlantic and shut it down. Putin called Bush and told him that he knew that the U.S. was raising their military alert status and in response, Russia’s military would stand down, in order to make sure nothing bad happened in a moment of high tension. Putin also told Bush that the world must unite against terrorism and that Russia would stand by the United States.

"Freedom and Fear are at War." - U.S. President George W. Bush
"This is a battle with only one outcome: our victory, not theirs." - UK Prime Minister Tony Blair

Where were you?


It's 11:00 AM September 11, 2001 - Where Are You?

11:00 AM

Most skyscrapers and tourist attractions in the U.S. are evacuated and closed. The list includes Walt Disney World, Seattle’s Space Needle, Independence Hall, and many others.

There are still nearly 1,000 airborne flights in U.S. airspace, and every one of them is a potential weapon.

It's 10:39 AM September 11, 2001 - Where Are You?

10:39 AM

The FAA shuts down all U.S. airports.

New And Noteworthy

What’s Going On?

Well, I really have missed doing my September 11 timeline. My daughters have asked about that, and I want them to understand it a little bet...

All The Best