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Predictions for 2020

Predictions for 2020

I kind of swiped this idea from the team over at Legal Insurrection. It seems like the kind of thing that one does in January. So, here are my predictions for events that we will see in 2020. No promises, this is a new one for me!

Let’s get going!

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Democratic Party Shows Who They Are…

Democratic Party Shows Who They Are…

And it isn’t pretty. Since I last wrote about this process, Bullock (who?), Swalwell, Ryan, Inslee, Hickenlooper, Gillibrand, de Blasio, O’Rourke, and Harris have dropped out. Former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg has jumped in, and the stage is set for another debate on December 19th.

To qualify for the Los Angeles debate, a candidate must hit 4 percent support in at least four DNC-approved polls, which may be national surveys of primary voters or single-state polls in the four early-voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina or Nevada. Alternatively, they can hit 6 percent in two early-state polls.

In addition, candidates must have received donations from at least 200,000 unique donors, with a minimum of 800 unique donors in 20 states, U.S. territories or the District of Columbia.

Of the remaining candidates, 6 have met that mark as I write this. So, let’s review and update the Circular Firing Squad, in poll ranking (per the New York Times) order.

Candidates who made the cut have DNC Ouroboros over their photo. Net worth, per Forbes, added to show that, despite claims to be the party of the middle class, their candidates are very, very far removed from said middle class.

Joe Biden

Joe Biden

Age: 76

Net Worth: $9,000,000

Joe just gets worse & worse. I still think this is his to lose, but damn, he is trying hard to lose it! From sucking on his wife’s fingers as she introduces him to talking about the joys of kids on his lap & people playing with his leg hair, Joe just keeps falling into the ‘really creepy uncle’ zone. I can’t understand why anyone thinks he is a good candidate. And this is before any reports on his interference in Ukrainian politics on behalf of his creepier son Hunter come to the fore… If Biden is the nominee, he’ll be one of the weakest, most vulnerable, in modern memory.
Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders

Age: 77

Net Worth: $2,500,000

Bernie Sanders is still the nutty uncle-by-marriage, isn’t he? He is so disconnected from economic reality that he doesn’t seem to get that he is the people he seems to hate the most. 

Well, not exactly – he did change his rant target from millionaires to billionaires once he became a millionaire. So there is that.

Bernie still isn’t a real threat – he is polling at around 18%, but we have not seen a single vote cast, and that was his weakness in 2016.

Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren

Age: 69

Net Worth: $12,000,000

The shine seems to have worn off of the only real contender to Creepy Uncle Joe.

Her absurd claims about ‘Medicare for all’ are being laughed at by her own party. Her ‘I have a plan’ line is played out – if you have a plan, you need to tell someone, sometime. People are just not interested in ambiguity these days.

Interestingly, her own party stopped buying the ‘Native American’ lie. With Harris dropping out, the left is complaining that all the remaining December debate candidates are white.

Oops.

Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg

Age: 37

Net Worth: $100,000

Mayor Pete is clearly doing something wrong – he should have at least one more zero on that… He is also fumbling on race issues. The media managed to not fully cover the protests in South Bend over a white cop shooting a black man in June. He then managed to claim a bunch of black support that he didn’t have, using stock photos of Africans in the process. And just last night, a white BLM protester disrupted a meeting, stealing the microphone from councilwoman Sharon McBride…who is black. And somehow the ‘not gay enough / in the right way’ nonsense persists too.
Michael Bloomberg

Michael Bloomberg

Age: 77

Net Worth: $53,400,000,000

$53.4 billion. Just to be clear about that.

So, the former mayor of New York, known best for soda taxes, anti-2nd Amendment activities, and changing the law in NYC to get himself a third term as mayor. He also changed parties to the Republicans to become mayor, switching back in his second term.

Bloomberg owns his own media group, who doesn’t actually report on him at all. Which is nice. I do the same thing – my blog doesn’t report on me either. The difference is that I am not a presidential candidate.

Bloomberg is another statist who thinks he knows how to best live your life, and wants to control how you do that. He’s pretty much scum.

Amy Klobuchar

Amy Klobuchar

Age: 58

Net Worth: $2,000,000

I honestly have no idea about her. Seriously. She made some headlines early, both for being ignored, and for mistreating her staff.

So, I looked up some articles on her. Seems that is about it. She mouths the current mandated pabulum, and mistreats staffers. And somehow is in the debate, despite raising $2 million less than Yang, and being tied with him in the polls.

I don’t get it, but then I am not a Democrat.

Andrew Yang

Andrew Yang

Age: 44

Net Worth: $1,000,000

Somehow, Yang isn’t in the December debate, despite polling & raising more money than Klobuchar and Steyer. Yang has also been the most disregarded of the field, with people getting has name wrong, and occasionally leaving him off lists of candidates completely. Yang is also, from my perspective, one of the only adults in the room. He isn’t falling all over himself to promote the latest leftist fad, he is trying to bring reasoned thought to the process. Yeah. Doomed. I wanted to also highlight his support of other candidates, because he thinks they have something to say, and he wants them top keep going. Rare, yes. Foolish, yes. Honorable, hell yes.
Cory Booker

Cory Booker

Age: 49

Net Worth: $1,500,000

Not sure why Booker is still here. He has been so vastly overshadowed by literally everyone that he really needs to drop this foolishness.

He is also one of those decrying the inherent racism that led to Harris dropping out. Of course, like the others on the same page, he misses that the racism he sees is inherent to the DNC…the people who didn’t support Harris.

At least Booker isn’t Castro or Williamson. So he has that going for him. 

Tom Steyer

Tom Steyer

Age: 62

Net Worth: $1,600,000,000

He wasn’t even a candidate when I did the first of these…

I know next to nothing about this guy. Bernie hates him (billionaire), but that’s meaningless. 

He supports the usual nonsense, and is polling way low – less than 1%. And yet somehow he managed to qualify for the December debate. Must be the money? No, because Bloomberg is way richer, and has not yet qualified. 

If you asks the Bookers and Castros of the DNC, it’s because he’s white.

Julián Castro

Julián Castro

Age: 44

Net Worth: $700,000

So, despite looking like the demented Santa Clause in Coco, Hard Rock, & Joe, Castro has managed to remain a candidate.

Not a viable one, but yeah, a candidate.

Castro has stood out by supporting Harris’ claims that the Democratic voter base is racist, and by basically sucking at this whole ‘basic human knowledge’ thing. He is the twit who proclaimed he would back federal funding to secure abortuions for trans women.  Who are, biologically, men. And thus incapable of having an abortion. 

Castro needs to drop this insanity before he says something even the shills in the media can’t ignore.

Tulsi Gabbard

Tulsi Gabbard

Age: 38

Net Worth: $500,000

Well, Gabbard got interesting. Accused by no less than Hillary Clinton of being a Russian asset. That was whitewashed later to be ‘Republican’, but the record remains – Clinton accused Gabbard, a Major in the Hawaii National Guard, of being ‘groomed’ by the Russians. Gabbard lashed back, calling Clinton “queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long”. Love it.

Gabbard is also not seeking reelection, to focus on the campaign, an honorable move rarely seen.

Otherwise, Gabbard is in favor of the usual stuff, but, like Yang, seems to actually think, not just blather platitudes.

It would be nice to see her have some primary success, but sadly I don’t expect it. She is out-polling and out-fundraising Steyer, and not in the December debate.

Michael Bennet

Michael Bennet

Age: 55

Net Worth: $15,000,000

Who? Another one that joined late, Bennet is a US Senator from Colorado.

Apparently, his campaign began as a ‘viral’ response to Ted Cruz…which kind of tells you all you need to know about the level of quality expected by the Democratic Party.

Usual positions, usual nonsense, basically another also-ran. Honestly, he is not even in the running for a veep slot.

John Delaney

John Delaney

Age: 56

Net Worth: $200,000,000

Somehow, still in the race. The $200 million net worth might be helping here.

Still, he is interesting. He is opposed to the current DNC pot of fairie gold, Medicare for All. Even if that opposition is based on the fact that it would see Trump reelected.

Otherwise, there isn’t much here. Still trying to be a centrist, and appeal to more than just the rabid base, and still polling at less than 1%. I think the real take away from this campaign is that the Democratic voters don’t want actual inclusion.

Marianne Williamson

Marianne Williamson

Age: 66

Net Worth: $1,500,000

In some ways, she is the Platonic ideal of the California Candidate – not fully aware of what policies she supports could do to people and their ability to live free. With a huge dose of pop-spirituality on top. 

Williamson supports the usual nonsense, plus repariations. Her political experience consists of losing an election in CA33 as an independent. Williamson is a surprise in the race – I really expected her to not make it this far.

Deval Patrick

Deval Patrick

Age: 63

Net Worth: Undeclared/Unknown

Where are the Democrats demanding Patrick’s tax returns? Oh, right, only applies to Republicans.

So…Patrick wasn’t in the race in the first version of this. He entered November 14th, because he was ‘uneasy’ about the candidates. Which makes sense. You have a serial groper, serial lier, and several 1% types in the lead – admittedly core DNC constituencies.

Patrick is one of exactly two current candidates with executive experience. The other being fellow late-comer Bloomberg. His policies are the stock DNC script, and the campaign website is really vauge. Not sure what he thinks he brings to the game, but I wouldn’t expect him to go far.

So who is the Democratic Party? Rich. White. Ready and willing to embrace people who should have been #metoo’d out of the party. Ready and willing to embrace liers, grifters, and people who believe in demonizing the American people and their beliefs. The DNC of today is not interested in leading by example…or leading at all. They are interested in ruling. And that is something we should all find wholly unacceptable as Americans.
Democratic Party Shows Who They Are…

Democratic Party = Racists?

With Kamala Harris claiming ‘racism’ as the reason her 2020 bid failed, she inadvertently says something pretty dire about the state of the Democratic Party.

I say inadvertently because I am pretty sure she didn’t think this through, in the least.

As was pointed out on Ace of Spades, the DNC primary process is a closed loop – it is by and for Democrats. Not the nation as a whole, not Republicans, just Democrats. And thus, if the reason her campaign failed was, in fact, racism, it is the Democratic Party that has that problem.

Well…no shit.

The Democrats have moved from literally owning black people, to killing black people for daring to try to exercise their rights as free people, to ghettoizing them and basically claiming ownership again. At no point in this process have the Democratic Party leaders or power brokers considered blacks as valid, fully realized, agency-possessing humans. They were slaves, then there to be lynched, then back to de facto slavery.

There is a reason the recent pro-Republican movements describe themselves as getting of the plantation. The Dems have made the plantation their default system of dealing with non-Asian minorities.

But of course, the inherent racism of the DNC is, somehow, Trump’s fault. Because Orange Man Bad?

Another Failure of Education

Another Failure of Education

As seen on Facebook – a nice little piece explaining how the Holocaust didn’t begin with the Kristallnacht.

This is, of course, patently obvious. The Holocaust, defined as the systemic extermination of Jews and others, began with the Wannsee Conference in January of 1942. Before that was state incarceration, segregation, and unpersoning of Jews and others. Facts are tricky like that.

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Another Failure of Education

Well, It Isn’t Like They Were Doing Anything Useful Anyway

I kind of hate that the title is that long. But sometimes it needs to be what it is.

The Chicago Tribune is reporting that three teachers and an organizer, all members of the Chicago Teacher’s Union, visited Venezuela in July. This shows poor judgement by being a tacit (at the minimum) endorsement of the socialist policies that have turned Venezuela into the nightmare it is today. To make things worse, they described themselves as a ‘delegation’ from the CTU. Thus implicating that already questionable organization in the group’s declarations of support for Venezuela’s dictator, Maduro.

In fairness, while calling themselves a delegation from CTU, it is clear in their blog post that the Union did not fund them:

This blog represents the members delegation of the Chicago Teacher’s Union that are currently in Venezuela to learn from educators and activists on the ground. We are three rank and file charter school teachersand one CTU organizer. We organized this delegation ourselves and fundraised for the trip independent of the CTU. While CTU did pass a resolution in support of Venezuela, they did not plan this delegation or give any type of financial support.

http://radicaleducatorcollective.org/introduction-to-ctu-delegation-to-venezuela/

I believe that anyone who is that absurdly ignorant of the reality on the ground in Venezuela should not be allowed to teach. That these three, Sarah Chambers, Valeria Vargas, and Fabiana Casas (and ‘organizer’ Richard Berg) can endorse, and by implication lead the CTU to endorse, someone like Maduro is proof of lack of fitness for the job.

Sarah Chambers, Valeria Vargas, and Fabiana Casas’ licenses to teach should be immediately and permanently revoked.

I wonder if they will call anyone racist…

And of course, the predictable response is there too. One of the so-called delegates, Sarah Chambers, tweeted this in response to the Tribune article:

Of course. Racist.

Remember, if a leftist calls you racist, and you know you aren’t, you hurt them somehow. They literally cannot deal with being criticized any other way.

Illinois Legalizes Pot…Badly

Illinois Legalizes Pot…Badly

For some reason, there are some features of the IL Cannabis Act that you may have missed…

Until October, only medical dispensaries can sell legally, and to do so requires a non-refundable deposit of 3% of their annual sales, or $100,000, whichever is less. This is termed the ‘Cannabis Business Development Fee’.

The state is also working to create virtual monopolies. For those not in the medical side seeking a license, the following is the total number available:

IL BLS Map
  • Bloomington: 1
  • Cape Girardeau: 1
  • Carbondale-Marion: 1
  • Champaign-Urbana: 1
  • Chicago-Naperville-Elgin: 47
  • Danville: 1
  • Davenport-Moline-Rock Island: 1
  • Decatur: 1
  • Kankakee: 1
  • Peoria: 3
  • Rockford: 2
  • St. Louis: 4
  • Springfield: 1
  • Northwest Illinois nonmetropolitan: 3
  • West Central Illinois nonmetropolitan: 3
  • East Central Illinois nonmetropolitan: 2
  • South Illinois nonmetropolitan: 2

That’s it. Want to compete with the single recreational dispensary in the Davenport area? Tough. If they are overcharging, it’s back to the street dealers. 20+ pages later, we find that after 2022, the number of licenses may be raised. With an absolute cap of 500. At least until that is amended. The increase is to ‘reduce or eliminate’ various barriers. This is the part people likely mean when they envision pot shops replacing liquor stores in lower income neighborhoods.

Applications are $5000, and are, of course, non-refundable. By the way, this information is on pages 84 & 85 of a 610 page bill. There are 16 pages of definitions at the beginning.

The requirements for application are long too, so they are under the accordion below, check them out if you wish.

Just To Apply To Run A Store...
  • An applicant must meet the following requirements:
  • Payment of a nonrefundable application fee of $5,000 for each license for which the applicant is applying, which shall be deposited into the Cannabis Regulation Fund;
  • Certification that the applicant will comply with the requirements contained in this Act;
  • The legal name of the proposed dispensing organization;
  • A statement that the dispensing organization agrees to respond to the Department’s supplemental requests for information;
  • From each principal officer, a statement indicating whether that person:
    • has previously held or currently holds an ownership interest in a cannabis business establishment in Illinois; or
    • has held an ownership interest in a dispensing organization or its equivalent in another state or territory of the United States that had the dispensing organization registration or license suspended, revoked, placed on probationary status, or subjected to other disciplinary action;
  • Disclosure of whether any principal officer has ever filed for bankruptcy or defaulted on spousal support or child support obligation;
  • A resume for each principal officer, including whether that person has an academic degree, certification, or relevant experience with a cannabis business establishment or in a related industry;
  • A description of the training and education that will be provided to dispensing organization agents;
  • A copy of the proposed operating bylaws;
  • A copy of the proposed business plan that complies with the requirements in this Act, including, at a minimum, the following:
    • A description of services to be offered; and
    • A description of the process of dispensing cannabis;
  • A copy of the proposed security plan that complies with the requirements in this Article, including:
    • The process or controls that will be implemented to monitor the dispensary, secure the premises, agents, and currency, and prevent the diversion, theft, or loss of cannabis; and
    • The process to ensure that access to the restricted access areas is restricted to, registered agents, service professionals, transporting organization agents, Department inspectors, and security personnel;
  • A proposed inventory control plan that complies with this Section;
  • A proposed floor plan, a square footage estimate, and a description of proposed security devices, including, without limitation, cameras, motion detectors, servers, video storage capabilities, and alarm service providers;
  • The name, address, social security number, and date of birth of each principal officer and board member of the dispensing organization; each of those individuals shall be at least 21 years of age;
  • Evidence of the applicant’s status as a Social Equity Applicant, if applicable, and whether a Social Equity Applicant plans to apply for a loan or grant issued by the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity;
  • The address, telephone number, and email address of the applicant’s principal place of business, if applicable. A post office box is not permitted;
  • Written summaries of any information regarding instances in which a business or not-for-profit that a prospective board member previously managed or served on were fined or censured, or any instances in which a business or not-for-profit that a prospective board member previously managed or served on had its registration suspended or revoked in any administrative or judicial proceeding;
  • A plan for community engagement;
  • Procedures to ensure accurate recordkeeping and security measures that are in accordance with this Article and Department rules;
  • The estimated volume of cannabis it plans to store at the dispensary;
  • A description of the features that will provide accessibility to purchasers as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act;
  • A detailed description of air treatment systems that will be installed to reduce odors;
  • A reasonable assurance that the issuance of a license will not have a detrimental impact on the community in which the applicant wishes to locate;
  • The dated signature of each principal officer;
  • A description of the enclosed, locked facility where cannabis will be stored by the dispensing organization;
  • Signed statements from each dispensing organization agent stating that he or she will not divert cannabis;
  • The number of licenses it is applying for in each BLS Region;
  • A diversity plan that includes a narrative of at least 2,500 words that establishes a goal of diversity in ownership, management, employment, and contracting to ensure that diverse participants and groups are afforded equality of opportunity;
  • A contract with a private security contractor that is licensed under Section 10-5 of the Private Detective, Private Alarm, Private Security, Fingerprint Vendor, and Locksmith Act of 2004 in order for the dispensary to have adequate security at its facility; and
  • Other information deemed necessary by the Illinois Cannabis Regulation Oversight Officer to conduct the disparity and availability study referenced in subsection (e) of Section 5-45.

Working there will cost the employee $100 for their ID card. Not too far off from what security is required to pay, but also not easy if you’ve been out of work for a while.

And Then The Taxes Begin…

7% on the grower’s sale, paid by the grower

Buyers face the following excise taxes:

  • Any cannabis, other than a cannabis-infused product, with an adjusted delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol level at or below 35% shall be taxed at a rate of 10% of the purchase price;
  • Any cannabis, other than a cannabis-infused product, with an adjusted delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol2     level above 35% shall be taxed at a rate of 25% of the purchase price; and
  • A cannabis-infused product shall be taxed at a rate of 20% of the purchase price.
  • The tax imposed under this Article shall be in additionThe tax imposed under this Article shall be in addition to all other occupation, privilege, or excise taxes imposed by the State of Illinois or by any municipal corporation or political subdivision thereof.

So, for an eighth of an ounce, street prices in Chicago are about $40 according to http://budzu.com/prices/usa/illinois/chicago. Let’s pretend that will stay consistent. So, your dispensary price in Chicago will be $48.51 – $55.13. Since the law makes all pot possession no longer an issue, why pay the state $8 – $15 more? This has been seen in other states. The Chicago Sun Times estimated pot prices of about $60 for an eighth of an ounce, which is in line with my basic finding.

And remember, there is a hard limit on the number of stores, and those beyond existing medical dispensaries won’t be live until 2022. So yeah, no instant tax boon here.

Illinois is pretty good at screwing up taxes.

So what we have is a law that allows use, but at a very high cost, and despite claims to the contrary, isn’t likely to see any development in economically depressed communities. After all, with the costs associated with the mere starting of the business, why risk it in a bad neighborhood or town? It’s just too expensive a thing to mess up.