Manny Machado Signs Record Free Agent Deal with the Padres

This didn’t seem possible a few weeks back, but in the end the San Diego Padres have signed the biggest MLB free-agent prize of this winter. Manny Machado is a SS, but will soon move to 3B when top prospect Fernando Tatis, Jr (acquired James Shields to White Sox) arrives sometime in 2019. Along with prospect hitting-machine 2B Luis Urias, the Padres have a good infield that will be under team control through at least 2022.

Their current outfield mix is young and has upside, with legit prospects in the minors. All their stud pitching is in the minors, and the first wave is set to arrive in 2019. RHP Chris Paddack (Fernando Rodney to the Marlins), & LHP Logan Allen (Craig Kimbrel to the Red Sox) will get their first opportunities in 2019.

The Machado signing signals the Padres will be aggressive in bringing their young pitchers up. The Padres haven’t made any free-agent pitching acquisitions in the off season, starter or reliever, that will pitch for them in 2019. The signal is that they believe in their young talent and are ready to promote their top performers to Petco. Padres fans have never seen anything like this in franchise history: a fertile farm system, along with ownership that spends on free agent talent as needed. In the last two off seasons, the Padres have signed the 2 richest free agents: 1B Eric Hosmer $144M last winter, and now SS/3B Manny Machado for 10 years, $300M.

Note that all the arguments & protests made by veteran MLB players & know-nothing media pundits over “collusion,” have now fallen to the wayside. There is no collusion in modern MLB free agency. There is only MLBPA stupidity & blindness, by agreeing to a system that will only reward the biggest stars, and freeze out the rest. Outspoken players should re-direct their anger towards those who agreed to this rotten CBA deal. The word is RF Bryce Harper is about to sign a deal with the Phillies. Whether it is more or less than Machado’s deal is irrelevant, next to the bigger point, which is that no one else will get anything close to what these two get.

Lefty starter Dallas Keuchel & righty reliever Craig Kimbrel remain available, and can be had for a song. The reason they are still available is because they probably don’t have much left, and are high-risk signings that also cost a high draft pick. That’s the value killer. Impending free agents (who aren’t superstars) that are made qualifying offers, need to start taking them.

A player can only be offered a QO once, so by accepting, they become unrestricted free agents the next winter. Otherwise, they’re taking less money under this system. Both Keuchel & Kimbrel refused a $17.9M qualifying offer (QO) offer by their clubs last November. This isn’t collusion, it’s lack of understanding by the MLB players, MLBPA bureaucrats & their agents.

Keuchel won’t get a multi-year deal that matches the AAV of his QO, and Kimbrel probably won’t even get $10M on a 1-year deal at this point. The Red Sox have said they can’t afford him, as he puts them over the luxury tax threshold, which means his salary would cost ~50% more (in MLB penalty taxes) if the Red Sox re-sign him. That’s the only team that doesn’t lose a pick if they sign him, saying they won’t sign him. So who wants him? Answer: No one who spends big money on a closer.

Kimbrel & his agent should have seen this early, and lowered their demands. Now it’s too late, and Kimbrel is at the mercy of the market full of hungry vultures who missed out on the real prizes, and are now bargain shopping. The 6/$80M deal Craig Kimbrel was seeking has not materialized, and now he’ll have to take whatever he can get– just like the rest of the remaining free agents. Those non-superstar free agents who signed early (generally speaking) got the best deals. Those who held out, got left behind. So when the Twins, etc, come a-calling with their low-ball offers, remaining free-agents better be ready to sign.

Pitchers & catchers have been in camp for a week, and by now all the signed players have reported too. When Bryce Harper’s signing is soon announced, every other unsigned free agent officially moves into panic mode. They have to sign and get to camp, otherwise they risk losing the season to someone else who took their spot, simply because they said “Yes” to an offer as the available jobs ran out. That’s the way teams are with veteran free agents these days, and it’s called hardball moneyball.

Remember that Harper & Machado are both age 26, which means they are young and in their prime. They both have Hall-of-Fame arcs, so every franchise that wants to win is seeking to add them. This market fell to the Padres because so many teams have already maxed-out their payrolls. The Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs & Dodgers are big market heavyweights that weren’t in on either superstar this winter. Why? Because they all have high payrolls, and can’t afford either Harper or Machado.

I’m not saying 10 years, $300 million is a bargain (it’s actually crazy money), but I will say that not having any of those 4 aforementioned teams involved kept the cost down, if that seems possible. That’s the only way the Padres were able to get precisely the superstar they needed. Until this deal, it was Ty France at 3B for the Padres.

This adds 5-6 wins to the Padres in 2019, and makes the Fernando Tatis, Jr. transition to the majors a much easier process. Any time you can add a HoFer in his prime to your team, it’s a good move. Especially when you’ve planned so you can afford it. The was a brilliant campaign by Padres GM AJ Preller, who has done it again. What looked like a quiet (but dominant) winter for him, turned into his biggest coup yet. No one seriously thought the Padres would get Manny Machado– myself included. Ownership support is crucial, and anyone can see that management is leading, with ownership on the same page, which is what you want as a fan.

I am a Padres fan, so I’m now officially excited for 2019. I had heard the Machado rumors in the wind, and dreamed on it for a bit, but never took it too seriously– and neither did anyone else. Only a few weeks back, did the buzz start to become more focused on the Padres, who also met with Bryce Harper. The Padres did a great job of staying under-the-radar, and then striking when the time was right, getting exactly the player they needed.

Evidentially, Manny Machado didn’t like the White Sox or the Phillies as much, which says something, because both teams needed him. In the case of the White Sox, it’s the fact that they’re going to be bad for awhile which is the turn-off. For the Phillies, I see them as an organization that can’t make up their mind on what they really need, because you can’t sign both. The Phillies seemed to believe they could. Only the Yankees can do that, and they don’t anymore, as even they have limits.

The Phillies are now the favorites to sign Bryce Harper, as they need him the most (which means they’ll spend the most) among the remaining suitors. They signed RHP Jake Arrieta late last spring to 3/$75M, and the first year was a disappointment, as his ERA was near 4.00, and he faded down the stretch. This team has good young pitchers, but have too many holes to fill. Harper will help them, of course, but he maxes them out on payroll, while still leaving too many positions at replacement level. That’s why the Phillies signing Harper, won’t mean as much as the Padres signing Machado. When you sign a free-agent for this much money, he has to fulfill all your needs, otherwise it will be an overpay and/or bust. Those are the hard lessons of MLB free agency.

San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy (above) announced this would be his last season the other day. He’s won 3 World Series managing the Giants. Bochy lost one (1998 to NYY) as the skipper of the Padres from 1995-2006. He never should have been fired, but the Friars had unstable ownership & constantly-changing management back then. He’s still one of the best, but his team is old. The Padres 2019 win projection before the Machado signing was 76, meaning the NL West is (again) the toughest division in the senior circuit.

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Gold vs. Bitcoin

Precious metals & crypto-currency are the two hottest investment markets right now. The stock markets are all being propped up with central bank money & interventions by Plunge Protection Teams, which indicates they are bubbles about to burst. Bonds are also high-risk for default, and mostly junk. The US dollar has no real backing anymore, as most of its manufacturing has been outsourced to China & the third world. This creates a demand for gold, which is considered a safe haven for investors.

What is gold? Gold is a precious metal that has high malleability, ductility, conductivity of electricity, and is resistant to corrosion. Gold has been used in jewelry, art & dental restorations for millennia. That is real world use-value for gold, which cryptocurrency doesn’t have. That is why gold is stable, and coveted in times of economic uncertainty. The earliest forms of money were gold coins.

All crypto-currency is “mined” by super-computers at a high cost of electricity. The most popular crypto is Bitcoin ($3,400) now trading at over $600 below average unit cost ($4,060), as reported by Bloomberg news a week ago. What other use-value does crypto have? There obviously is none, so therefore no one can honestly explain crypto-currency as anything but a giant financial swindle.

Gold survives the “acid test,” which is in fact where the term came from. Bitcoin is “mined” by supercomputers that use a massive amount of electricity to create just one unit. Theoretically the cap amount is 21,000,000 bitcoins, with ~ 4,000,000 still to be created. That’s a lot of electricity for a superfluous accounting tool. There are over 1,500 crypto-currencies currently being traded globally, to give you an idea of the scale of waste going on here.

Electricity is created by raw materials that are mined, such as coal, gas, oil & uranium. Thus electricity has a cost, and with global warming, it can only go up in the future under capitalism. What this means for all crypto-currencies, is that their production costs will only increase. The only way electricity will stabilize is when solar power becomes the norm, and this can only occur through a political revolution.

All crypto depends on electricity, which is a driver of cost & value in today’s world. The internet depends on electricity, and all crypto is developed & traded online. A huge spike in electrical prices will instantly kill all crypto-currency value, as it will skyrocket the production cost (and then price), while offering no extra use value.

It can be argued that crypto-currency inherently has no use value, in a global economic sense. It’s purpose is to hide transactions, avoid taxation, and allow anonymous usership. This is a political-economic problem that Libertarian computer programmers tried to solve through mathematics. They’ve failed because their equations break down in the face of class relations, which dictate that the ruling class control all levers of power- especially money.

Crypto-currency was innovated as a hack, to end-run the US & global banks. That won’t be happening, because the puppet-masters won’t allow it. The only way to gain true monetary freedom is to transform society with a socialist revolution in permanence. That’s why Trotskyist Marxism is stable, as compared to any Libertarian capitalist ideology.

A more practical method to gain financial security is for the masses to appropriate the banks & all government institutions– most importantly the media, military & police– then these here-to-fore instruments of class war can be brought under democratic control. Only a socialist revolution can bring a true “government of the people.” Currently we have a plutocracy, a government of the rich, and it’s always been that way.

The American Revolution of 1776 was bourgeois in character. America was then a British colony, striving for independent nation status. Today the United States is a failed nation-state (like all the rest), whose masses are striving (whether they know it or not) towards socialism.

The level of mass political conscious is the “great unknown,” but the youngest generation has surely given up on capitalism. Most see no future, just more Bitcoin-like gimmicks. The rest are learning the hard way that things won’t improve without facing reality, and dealing with it in a rational & scientific manner.

Accounting tricks like crypto-currency, and the fervent support they garner from like-minded intelligentsia, reveal their poverty of thinking. Most of these self-proclaimed “cypherpunks” have never considered the true cost of mining one ton of coal, etc; in terms of environmental degradation, or health impact on the laborers. These costs don’t show up in their spreadsheet analysis, so they can carry on in blissful ignorance of the facts, and create new algorithms to reflect their versions of “reality.” They’re so smart, and some of them– very rich.

I’m not “smart” like them, so I have to work for a living. As a professional dentist for 25 years, I’ve restored many teeth with gold restorations. Gold crowns on back teeth have the best wear & bio-compatible characteristics for oral health & longevity. Most patients prefer porcelain restorations these days, because of improved color-matching aesthetics, but gold still has its uses. Relieving pain while restoring health & looks has value, and it always will. I’m not seeing any market for crypto-restorations in dentistry. Do you?

Final Thoughts– February 7, 2019 ~3:45 PM ET : Who is going to recognize any form of crypto-currency during a world war? That’s the acid test for capitalist currency. Precious metals have monetary basis. Currency backed by a functional economy & government has value. Crypto is none of that. Marxists are materialists, and that means we see through the hype.

Sat 09 Feb 2019 11:00 AM EST

If bitcoin is going to “decouple” from all other alt-coins, then bitcoin is the leader, and all other crypto is dead. My reply to Jack Dorsey, “I only have Facebook, and so do many others. Does that mean Twitter is superfluous?”

Dorsey says the bitcoin community is a “global experiment in trust.” When it comes to the value of money, it takes a whole lot more than a small community of trust to back it– in the real world. If only the alt-coin programmers & CEO’s had some identifiable substance of value behind their products, then we would be impressed.

By “real world” I mean global acceptance of its value & stability. Bitcoin & cryptro have been around for only 10 years, and there is still too much uncertainty & volatility. Keep in mind, the crypto-currency market has had tens of billions of hot US dollars pumped into it, and it is still nothing close to stable, much less verifiable.

Why is bitcoin trading at $3,600? Answer: Because it costs a lot to produce. That’s an expensive accounting ledger. I recommend blockchaining anonymous Quickbooks accounts to any global currency. That would be a lot cheaper. The concept of a single global currency is progressive, but it will only happen through revolutionary socialism.

Comments originally posted here.

Tue 12 Feb 2019 06:30 PM EST

Censored comments on above: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is not a socialist, she’s a Democrat. Trotskyists won’t let that line be blurred.

I’m a fan of this show because Max Keiser gives us the inside story & details. He & Stacy are capitalists, so revolutionary socialists can’t fundamentally agree on crypto due to politics. Everyone thinks they’re correct on politics, so debate is futile. World events will prove who is correct.

Marxists understand the revolutionary potential in crypto-currency, which is its threat to the international banking establishment. The political problem is: every nations’ banks are intimately connected with a government, military & deep state. They’ll take away your internet. Then what do you have?

Keep reporting the crypto story from the inside, Max & Stacy! Real socialists respect differences in politics, when learning expertise from others who know their field. Marxists understand that putting politics aside (once mastered), is a good way to learn– all around.

Below is a current list of the top-20 cryptocurriences. Anyone can see that Bitcoin (BTC) is in a class by itself, as far as asset price. Bitcoin is the only alt-coin that even approaches meeting its cost of production, which says something profound about the whole crypto market.

Asset Last Price

BTC $3,582.21
ETH $121.94
BCH $121.43
DASH $79.28
BSV $64.04
ZEC $53.49
XMR $49.46
LTC $42.23
BTG $9.98
NEO $8.22
ETC $4.05
EOS $2.85
QTUM $1.90
LSK $1.15
XRP $0.300242
IOTA $0.267499
XLM $0.075762
ADA $0.041011
XEM $0.037980
TRX $0.023885

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Fake Festivals & Everything Else

FYRE: The Greatest Festival That Never Happened (2019), is available for streaming on Netflix. This is one of two recently released documentaries on the epic fail of the Fyre Festival, which was scheduled to take place on a remote Bahamian island over two weekends in April/May 2017. The other is Fyre Fraud (2019), available on Hulu. The reason the Fyre Festival never actualized is because it was a scam from the start, and a metaphor for an entire “fake economy” that defines America & capitalism today.

The Fyre Festival, along with American politics is a hustle, led by sociopathic liars who throw money around, and hype themselves endlessly as the second coming, while delivering nothing. The resemblances between Fyre-brainchild Billy McFarland, and Donald Trump are remarkable. They look the similar physically– fat & stupid, with fake everything for everyone. They surround themselves with beautiful women, excess & celebrities, to boost their owns egos & images. And finally, they are both out-of-control, sociopathic liars, who never deliver on anything they promise.

McFarland’s partners in crime for the Fyre Festival were rap mogul Ja Rule & Jerry Media. They struck gold when they gathered the world’s top supermodels in the Bahamas in late 2016, for a promotional video shoot– shown above. In the Netflix documentary, someone aptly points out that there were actually two Fyre Festivals; the promo shoot with the models– which was great, and the actual event five months later– which was a disaster. The fact that the first is (and will always be) more celebrated, says a lot about this fake world we live in.

This is a Bizarro universe where supermodels & online “influencers” are all-important, as facts & reality don’t matter. What these manipulators actually produce is nothing of value. But their importance remains paramount– we’re told. That’s why Kendall Jenner was paid $250,000, for one social media post promoting the Fyre Festival (without disclosure).

Supermodels & other top social media influencers that were paid to promote this catastrophe included: Alessandra Ambrosio, Hailey Baldwin, Rose Bertram, Hannah Ferguson, Bella Hadid, Elsa Hosk, Chanel Iman, Giizele Oliveira, Emily Ratajkowski, Lais Ribeiro, Amanda Riley, Shanina Shaik & Paulina Vega. Afterwards, all of them have quietly deleted their posts relating to the Fyre Festival, most without comment.

The reality is, that it’s impossible to deliver a “luxury music festival,” on a remote tropical island with no infrastructure, running water, or electricity. When supermodels are paid to hype this garbage, and it reaches the level of media buzz it attained, then we as a society have a serious issue with controlling our sexual urges. That’s what drove Fyre, and it led to disaster. The millennials who bought into this fantasy, really need to look at their own culpability. You can only be lied to, if you want to believe the lie.

Videos with supermodels, selling people their dreams, is as old as MTV at least– yet the scam still works when updated. Why? Because people are blind to what they desire the most. People want (more than anything) to be part of the “in” crowd, and hang out with beautiful people & celebrities. This is a sickness many people have, in which they are telling themselves they can only be “somebody” if they are at a certain event with “cool” people.

This is a pathological & elitist outlook, which denies oneself its own potential to be beautiful & important. That mentality has been beaten into Generations’ X, Y & Z; as image is promoted as everything– especially on social media.

When reality finally bites, insanity & barbarism ensues, because no one is fact-checking. Both documentaries reveal how negative social media comments & whistle-blower websites were censored, as part of the Fyre promotional campaign. That’s because the truth will collapse this fake economy, exposing these “elites” as con artists. This mirrors the US government’s ongoing campaign to censor the internet, in the name of neo-McCarthyism.

America’s fake government is now personified by President Trump– the quintessential sociopathic conman. This isn’t sustainable, and it can’t be reformed, as the Democrats allowed this to be. Both Democrat (DSA, Greens, etc) & Republican (Libertarian, Tax Reform, Tea, etc) parties, along with their staunchest supporters always work together behind closed doors, to sell out the working masses. It’s fake “events” like the annual Super Bowl & Fyre Festival that keep people distracted & mollified.

As of this publication, there are still 800,000 federal workers, who aren’t being paid, and it’s been over a month. Over half of them are being required to work, most notably (so far) the TSA workers, who screen all passengers & baggage in our airports. TSA screeners are fake jobs too, meant to keep us safe from the terrorists who masterminded 9/11.

Those who fly (at all), despise the post-9/11 screening process, as it’s simply an edifice for a police state. It doesn’t make us safer, it just concentrates power into the hands of unaccountable madmen & fascists. One can’t attempt to bring a bottle of water on board, without a TSA screener tripping every alarm, as they confiscate your beverage. The “suspect” then gets a warning, and a canned statement, “You can purchase another one on-board.” Can you see how all this ties in? It’s not hard, if you look.

The reason many of the TSA screeners are working for free, is to keep their bullshit jobs. Most of these airport rent-a-police aren’t qualified to deal with a serious terrorist threat. But that’s not why they are there. The TSA was created and vastly expanded after 9/11, as cheap government labor to secure an objective for the ruling apparatus, which is to be able to lockdown any airport at any time. That’s concentrated power, and the deep state is a “who’s who” of mass murderers & fascist sociopaths, who take this as their divine right.

The mainstream answer to the government shutdown (and everything else) will ultimately be to allow Trump to declare an “executive emergency,” which doesn’t exist in reality, in order to get funding for “border security,” which both Democrats & Republicans support. This will further concentrate dictatorial authority into the hands of the US President, which Trump likes. Impeaching Donald Trump for his destructive recklessness & lack of compassion is off-the-table in this world of fake politics.

Since Donald Trump has boxed himself in with his government shutdown crisis, he goes ahead using (abusing) his Presidential power to create more chaos as a diversion. That’s the deal with this Venezuelan coup attempt Mike Pompeo & company are trying to pull off at the moment. This is the most brazen and unlawful example of election interference that anyone has ever witnessed, yet it’s framed a legitimate diplomacy in the US corporate media.

Government Shutdown Update: Friday 25 Jan 2019 03:30 PM EST

Reuters: Trump announces deal with lawmakers to end government shutdown

The deal is described as “a tentative agreement with U.S. lawmakers for three weeks in stop-gap funding that would end a partial U.S. government shutdown now in its 35th day.” News opinion polls now show public disapproval of Trump near 60%. with a majority of Americans holding him most responsible for the shutdown. Trump still reserves the right for himself to exercise “emergency powers” to get his wall, and powerful Democrats support him on that.

February 15, 2019 is now the next government shutdown date, and (most likely) we’ll be right back here again. This “deal” is a band-aid to stop the hemorrhaging. The only thing furloughed & compelled-to-work government employees care about is when do they get paid again? Back pay & lost wages are also a big issue for them. Trump’s presidency is on-the-ropes, as he & his advisors are stalling for time, until they can assume control with fascist methods.

“The workers of Matamoros will never go back to paying 4 percent union dues. You can’t have a rich union and poor workers.”

Here’s some more real news, you never hear on CNN or Fox. There are currently over 70,000 striking auto workers at the Matamoros plants in Mexico, at the US border. These strikers have defied their sellout unions, and are already affecting US production plants, but it has received zero mass media coverage in the US, for all these reasons. The reality & issues are too great for the elites to admit to, so they instead bury their heads in the sand, and hype more fake news & phony events.

Fact checking for a music festival starts with the band lineup. Fyre touted second-rate & nobody acts. Major Lazer is a DJ/producer with just two albums to his credit. Disclosure is an electronica act, also with only two records. Blink 182, the “headliner,” is a dinosaur B-list alternative rock band. Hip-hop pretenders Migos, and Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music crew, aren’t the kind of acts that one travels thousand of miles (and pays thousands of dollars) to see perform. Have you even heard of any of the rest?

The screenshot above is a damning exposure of the music industry. The biggest act, Blink 182, didn’t pull out until the last minute, as shown in their infamous tweet. Note their complicity in this fraud, by not telling their own fans that the Fyre festival was now known to be a humanitarian Super-fund site. Instead, Blink 182 apologized in couched language to mask the truth. What were they paid, I wonder? Bullshit act, like all the rest that were “booked.”

What’s most disturbing about these documentaries is the lack of awareness & remorse from everyone involved at the planning, promotional & management level. Billy McFarland & Jeffery Atkins (AKA– Ja Rule) are conman & street hustler. They deserve no legitimacy, just like the rest of this fake economy. They should be sent to prison for a long time, just like the rest of these fascist elites, who produce nothing, and only take for themselves.

The rest deserve some other form of comeuppance, which hasn’t arrived yet. That will only happen when younger people start becoming more socially & politically conscious. It has to happen, otherwise history will continue to repeat itself with this kind of ugliness. That is the deeper message in these two timely documentaries.

Australian Open (Women’s) Update: Sat 26 Jan 2019 ~ Noon EST

Does chemical enhancement count as fakery? I think so.

Serena Williams looked beastly hideous (again) during the 2019 Australian Open, where she cracked in the quarterfinals. She foot-faulted on her 1st serve at match point, and the replay shows it. She has a history of being called for that, only this time she quietly accepted it, like you’re supposed to, instead of blowing it up and using it as an excuse for losing. Naomi Osaka, the 2018 US Open winner, was shamed by Serena’s meltdown.

Serena Williams wasn’t cheated here, she cracked. That is a term tennis players use for what happened to Serena, leading 5-1 in the 3rd set, serving at 40-30. The lines-person called “foot-fault” immediately & loudly, meaning Karolina Pliskova heard it & ignored the serve, so that wasn’t an “ace,” as some have insisted. Pliskova cracked Serena by upping her game and making Williams move, until she rolled an ankle because she’s carrying too much weight. That’s one way to crack an opponent who has that vulnerability.

There is no dishonor in cracking, as compared to her malicious outburst towards a respected chair umpire during & after the 2018 US Open finals. Serena Williams never even apologized for that, or issued any kind of public explanation, outside of wanting to “put it in her rear-view mirror.”

She’s won 23 Grand Slams, and probably won’t win anymore. People need to accept that, as supporting her brand of racialist & feminist hate isn’t healthy. There’s a lot to like & dislike about her career. In this social media age, there’s nothing fans despise more than liars & their apologists

The only chance Serena Williams has at another major is 2019 Wimbledon, where her serve is dominant. Her Achilles’ Heel is her reduced mobility, which shows up against top opponents who can handle her serve. She has no chance of winning another French Open, and Naomi Osaka is now the “Queen of the Hardcourts.”

Naomi Osaka defeated Petra Kvitova (above) in a thrilling 3-set finals match, to win the 2019 Australian Open. This is what everyone wanted to see & remember. It feels a lot more REAL. No losers here, just huge kudos to both!!

Here’s some nefarious advertising for you. Naomi Osaka & Kei Nishikori are featured in this Japanimation cartoon titled ‘The Prince of Tennis,” sponsored by Nissin instant noodles. It’s received a lot of flak over “whitewashing” their caricatures, which led to the ad being taken down. People aren’t tolerating this fakery anymore, and they are better than ever at spotting it.

Osaka who is Japanese-Haitian replied, “I’ve talked to them. They’ve apologized. I’m tan. It’s pretty obvious. I don’t think they did it on purpose to be whitewashing or anything, but I definitely think that the next time they try to portray me or something, I feel like they should talk to me about it.”

Sat 26 Jan 2019 03:05 PM EST

Fake Money-Bitcoin Update: As reported by Bloomberg news, the production-weighted cash cost to create one Bitcoin averaged ~ $4,060 globally in the fourth quarter, according to analysts with JP Morgan Chase. Chinese miners pay ~ $2,400 per Bitcoin, by leveraging direct power purchasing agreements with dirty electricity generators.

All that leads to this question: With Bitcoin trading ~ $3,600 as of this publication, how is the cryptocurrency market sustainable in light of these realities?

I’ve heard way too many interviews with the cool, smart guys in crypto-currency who point to how Bitcoin “solved the double-spend problem.” Most of these Gen-Y & Z wanna-bees have been insulated from reality their entire lives, especially with their expensive bourgeois education in economics, which isn’t worth one read of Karl Marx’s Capital (1867).

These trendy young entrepreneurs live in cocoons, and understand nothing beyond their limited realm. The environmental cost of the Bitcoin/crypto-currency bubble impacts everyone. On the hard economics side, Bitcoin is trading at $500 below unit cost. The only way that happens (and is sustained), is through massive market fraud.

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Boxing in MLB Free Agents

The Major League Baseball free-agent market has barely moved since I last updated it here. Qualifying offer (QO) free agents are the key to understanding what’s going on. First, let’s review what I wrote over two months ago:

Update Sunday November 4, 2018: A total of seven QO’s were made on Friday, November 2 in MLB. Beyond the expected offers to Bryce Harper & Patrick Corbin, were Houston Astros left-hander Dallas Keuchel, Boston Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel, Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder A.J. Pollock, and Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu and catcher Yasmani Grandal. These players have 10 days to accept a $17.9 million salary for 2019, or become free agents with draft pick compensation. The five players I listed after Harper & Corbin should all accept their qualifying offers, as they won’t get better deals on the free agent market. Especially Grandal & Ryu.

What’s happened since? Ryu accepted, and kicked back knowing he has $17.9M for next season, with no off-season headaches. Hyun-Jin Ryu (below) will go into free agency in 2020 with no QO tag, as that can only be offered once to a player by their team. That’s what you want as a player– unrestricted free agency.

As I keep repeating here, it’s the draft pick compensation that is deterring the QO free-agents from getting more substantial offers. At least two-thirds of MLB teams have GM’s that value draft picks above veterans– generally speaking. That is a shift towards correct valuation of winning talent, and the MLBPA with the agents, are way behind on this. Their base constituency (veteran MLB players), are getting low-balled due to the new CBA their union “representatives” signed. Virtually every player before free agency is exploited, and now even free agents can’t get a good deal.

For example, ex-Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel (above) began the off-season claiming he was seeking a deal worth ~ 6/$85M. The problem is, he’s in decline, and he comes with draft pick compensation for everyone except Boston, which is probably where he’ll have to go back to, for less that the QO-deal he rejected in November. Time is not on his side, that’s for sure.

Former Diamondbacks center fielder AJ Pollock (above) is in even worse shape, as Arizona just inked utility man Wilmer Flores, so a reunion is becoming less likely. Pollock is worth (maybe) 2/$12M in this market– without a QO-tag on him. With the QO-tag, he’s negative value (losing a draft pick) to most teams, and therefore unsignable at even league minimum. How messed up is that?

One free-agent player decided to fire his agent, and negotiated his own deal this winter. Reliever David Robertson (above) signed a 2/$23M (plus 3rd-year option) with the Phillies. He’ll do much better than Craig Kimbrel, when all is said & done, and plus he doesn’t have to pay an incompetent agent a 5-10% fee for screwing things up.

Robertson said it was a great experience for him, and that he learned a lot about the market and how to negotiate. More players should follow his example. They’ll get paid better if they do. No one cares about your interest more than you, so if you leave it to someone else, expect to get burned.

Catcher Yasmani Grandal (above) is now an example of this. His over-estimation of his value apparently led him to reject a 4/$60M offer from the Mets a few weeks back. This is another lesson of the free-agency season: don’t overplay your hand. Afterwards the Mets moved on and signed catcher Wilson Ramos (2/$19M), and then the market for Grandal nearly evaporated.

Grandal settled for 1/$18.25 with the Brewers. The Brew Crew only give up their #104 pick, because the deal was for <$50M. The Dodgers would have preferred Grandal to have taken the Mets offer, as they would have received a better compensation pick on a $60M deal. That’s what’s going on, and the vultures are picking this market to pieces, while many players’ heads are spinning, as their salaries are falling.

Every off-season there are 2-3 teams that are spending “stupid money.” The Phillies already declared this intention, and the Yankees are always in, but neither are in the market for a catcher. The Mets have been stupid too, and this was the offer you jump on– if you’re Yasmani Grandal. His agent should be fired, for not counseling his client competently, because there were no other big suitors for Grandal, as most AL teams prefer Marlins catcher JT Realmuto, who is on the trade block.

Realmuto is better & younger, with two years of team control remaining, which could net his new team a QO compensation pick, if he’s dealt before the 2020 season. How much you get paid is not about past performance anymore. It’s what do you bring to the organization, and what they project you can do going forward.

Of the remaining QO free-agents, LHP Dallas Keuchel has the best chance of getting a deal north of $50M, but it’s not assured. The lessons of RHP’s Hu Darvish & Jake Arrieta (both busts) from last winter, remain in every GM’s mind. Everyone needs pitching, but overpaying for mediocre & injured/bad starters doesn’t make sense. That’s called wish-casting, and there aren’t many Jim Bowden’s left as GM’s who do that stupid stuff anymore.

That’s why the trade market for RHP’s Noah Syndergaard, Cory Kluber & Sonny Gray has received more interest than free-agent starting pitchers. The Mets, Indians & Yankees are all looking for young talent in return, but most teams won’t give that up anymore. Therefore not much moves.

We wait until SS/3B Manny Machado & RF Bryce Harper sign, and then the remaining position players will get scooped up at a song. Most of the MLB free-agent activity has been in the reliever market. In October, bullpens matter more than ever, and you can’t have too many arms. Position players are a-dime-a-dozen, and (often) youngsters are the best value in that market.

I don’t know how long MLB players are going to accept a system that never rewards anyone, except the most-elite superstars. This MLB CBA runs 2017-2021, and anyone with eyes can see a labor war on the horizon, as two more years of this will lead to revolt and (likely) a work stoppage. The money is too big, and the disparity is too wide. This process mirrors every other sector of our global economy. What’s not sustainable, must be revolutionized, otherwise it goes into the ashcan of human history. That will be the legacy of MLB’s “qualifying offer free agency.”

Update: Sunday 20 Jan 2019 ~3:40 PM EST

An alternate title for this piece could be, “Padres GM AJ Preller Whips MLB Free Agency.” The San Diego Padres have been the most speculated & media-buzzed team of this Hot Stove season. The reason is simple, they have the best minor-league system (by far), along with an interesting collection of young (cost-controlled) MLB talent.

Their Achilles heel is big-league starting pitching, which dooms them to the 2nd division, until their minor-league talent arrives. The Padres have been prominently linked to every big-name starter made available via trade over the winter, including: Marcus Stroman (Blue Jays), Sonny Gray (Yankees), Cory Kluber (Indians), and Noah Syndergaard (Mets).

Every rival GM wants at that talent, but AJ Preller has resisted all trade offers, and held his top prospects close to his vest. They are HIGHLY valued by the entire organization, including ownership. Therefore, they won’t be foolishly dealt for expensive rentals, bounce-back potential, decline years, or injury risks.

AJ Preller’s influence has also been a factor in holding up MLB free agency signings, as GM’s will exhaust their options to obtain young talent, before settling for a bargain in free agency. The “JT Realmuto effect” on the catching market has already been discussed above.

It’s a young man’s game, and it’s always been that way. Those who know the game recognize that much better now, due to advanced metrics & the sharing power of the internet. Many young players & MLB fans now know these issues better than the people running/ruining the game.

Here’s Evan Longoria on Instagram & ESPN.com:

evan.longoria3
We are less then a month from the start of spring and once again some of our games biggest starts remain unsigned. Such a shame. It’s seems every day now someone is making up a new analytical tool to devalue players, especially free agents. As fans, why should “value” for your team even be a consideration? It’s not your money, it’s money that players have worked their whole lives to get to that level and be deserving of. Bottom line, fans should want the best players and product on the field for their team. And as players we need to stand strong for what we believe we are worth and continue to fight for the rights we have fought for time and time again.

I respect Giants (Rays) 3B Evan Longoria, but his complaints to the media about Manny Machado & Bryce Harper not being signed yet, show that he really doesn’t understand what’s going on. Those two elite players have only one top offer apiece, and are waiting around for no good reason, as nothing better will materialize– for either of them. It is their agents who are (mis)advising them, as they are in denial. These “super-agents” (Boras & Lozano) keep trying to inflate the MLB superstar contract bubble, at the expense of younger, underpaid players who generally provide more winning value to franchises.

As of this publication, the Chicago White Sox have reportedly made Machado a seven-year, $175 million offer. Manny Machado’s agent, Dan Lozano, disputes this– which is seen in the industry as bluffing. The Phillies aren’t going to go that high (in years or money), and the Yankees appear to be out. No one else is (or was) serious. Machado should sign, and let the market move again, but he & his agent are being egotistical & greedy. This is what knowledgeable baseball fans REALLY don’t like.

The Nationals reportedly offered Bryce Harper a 10-year, $300 million deal, a while back. There’s no reason to not believe it. No other franchise will go higher, especially with draft-pick compensation added to the signing cost. Bryce Harper & agent Scott Boras are also grandstanding & flexing for everyone, and it’s really disrespectful to the other position players who are waiting for a decision, so they can then find a job.

For example, 3B Mike Moustakas can help a lot of teams in need. But everyone is waiting for SS/3B Manny Machado to make a decision first. Until then no one knows what the 3B market is. The best at any specific position can hold up that entire market, because they are always coveted by teams that want to win. No one goes to their fall-back plan, until Option A pans out.

Evan Longoria asks on social media, “As fans, why should ‘value’ for your team even be a consideration?” The obvious fan answer is, “Because ‘overpays’ drive up ticket prices, and kills any team’s chances at winning.” When a MLB GM makes a bad deal of this magnitude, it has a HUGE ripple effect. It’s like trading LHP David Price, for LHP Drew Smily & prospects. The Rays never recovered, and their fans deserted them.

If MLB players want to stop their salaries from going down, then they better get smarter, and start organizing for themselves. Those who deny metrics & remain clueless as to how players are valued, will sign dumb long-term deals– like Evan Longoria did. It sucks to be taken advantage of, but when it’s your own doing, you can only be mad at yourself. I say, “Educate yourself,” or else you’re just blowing-off hot air, like so many others.

Update: Fri 25 Jan 2019 6:15 PM EST

The LA Dodgers have made some moves this off-season, and none of them are going to help them get back to a third consecutive World Series. Jettisoning contracts Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig & Alex Wood to the Reds gets them under the luxury tax threshold, and that was the only purpose of that deal from LA’s perspective. Dodgers eat $28M from RHP Homer Bailey’s contract in return, whom they released.

In 2019, the final year of the Matt Kemp contract, he’ll be paid $21.75M. The Dodgers pay $3.5M & the Padres $2.5M, from the original deal that sent Kemp to San Diego. The Braves have also taken a bite of this deal, as this is Matt Kemp’s fourth trade during this contract, which is commonly regarded as one of the biggest albatrosses in MLB history.

Dodgers also inked premium righty reliever Joe Kelly to a 3/$25M deal, and replaced Yasmani Grandal at catcher with Russel Martin at 1/$20M. Now they’ve reportedly added center-fielder AJ Pollock at either 4/$55M or 5/$60M, pending a physical. Dodgers also give up a compensation pick to the Diamondbacks by signing Pollock- who is a significant injury & crash risk. This is an overpay.

It all adds up in LA to a core roster that is year older, with less outfield power, while losing lefty starter Alex Wood. The Reds got a huge upgrade in this Dodgers salary dump. The Dodgers compounded that mistake with this AJ Pollock deal.

Finally, soon-to-be age-31 LHP Clayton Kershaw wisely declined his “opt-out,” and stayed with the Dodgers for 3/$93M. He’s pitched 149.0, 175.0 & 161.1 innings in the last three seasons. He’s still great, but he’s breaking down, like all pitchers in their 30’s.

The Dodgers are still the best in the NL West, but their window is closing, as this roster will soon resemble the SF Giants’ current situation. Hot Stove activity like this accelerates that process in LA. At least the Giants won 3 World Series in their 5-year run. The Dodgers have squandered their golden opportunity to challenge that feat, with severe over-spending & some highly-questionable deals over the past several years.

Update: Sun 10 Feb 2019 10:30 AM EST

I mentioned a few weeks back that the Padres are the key team this off-season, and since then, they’ve been in the MLB rumor mill– a lot. Their involvement in the JT Realmuto deal (finally dealt to the Phillies) was probably an effort to define the market and move things along, instead of any real interest in the All-Star catcher.

The Marlins were being unrealistic for too long, about Realmuto’s value, with only 2 years remaining on his contract. Everyone wants the Padres prospects, and AJ Preller held firm on what his top young talent is worth, which is a lot more than two years of JT Realmuto. Especially since the Padres aren’t expected to compete for the post-season in 2019 or 2020.

So what have the San Diego Padres been doing in the Bryce Harper & Manny Machado free agency sweepstakes? For a long while the Padres were the “mystery team” in this ordeal, which tells you what that’s worth. When the Padres finally came out, and declared their interest, it was (again) tepid at best, as neither player fits their competitive window, for the costs involved. Yes, the Padres can afford to sign either one, but it wouldn’t move the needle on their becoming a winning team enough to justify the contract. So what are they doing!?

Padres GM AJ Preller is trying to move this market along, by engaging these two free agents. Since no one was making an offer, Preller requested a meeting with both superstars. Harper complied, and met with them in Las Vegas, while evidently Machado refused. In both cases the true intention was to let these players and their agents know that whatever offers they’ve already received, the Padres (and everyone else) won’t go higher.

Since neither is interested in signing for a bargain, they may as well take their best offer. That’s the message. MLB.com & ESPN are calling it “due diligence” by the Padres. I believe Preller prefers signing free agent 3B Mike Moustakas, as a low-cost alternative. He’s just waiting for Machado & Harper to sign somewhere.

Over the last few days rumors have been reported as fact, that the Yankees have offered SS/3B Manny Machado a $220 million deal, and now the White Sox have raised their offer to $250 million over 8 years. No one will confirm any of this, so serious fans take it as bluffing. I still stand behind my prediction that Machado will sign with the pale hose for $175M, as that’s the top offer that has been reported, and verified by the White Sox.

Whether Harper’s $300M offer from the Nationals is still on the table is unknown, but he should have taken it when he had the chance, if he wanted max money. If Bryce Harper wants out of Washington, then he’s taking a pay cut from that.

Pitchers & catchers report this week, so it’s time for these two to make a decision. They’ll both be taking less than what they had hoped for, and will possibly be going to teams they don’t prefer, just to get paid. That’s MLB free agency in 2019, and it’s a catastrophe for the players & fans.

The fundamental issue that keeps getting swept under-the-rug is the MLBPA’s role in all this. These union bureaucrats & officials, counseled by the heavy-clout super-agents that advise them, are all complicit in the lowering of MLB-player salaries. This is the root of the impasse between free agents & the organizations these past two off-seasons.

The GM’s that run these franchises for their owners are all smarter now. Thus, they aren’t handing out any more Albert Pujols contracts, like the Angels regret. Their splurges are now more measured & contained. The presumed job of these union functionaries is to follow these trends, and understand its importance when collectively bargaining for the players.

In this task, they have completely whiffed. The MLBPA’s allegiance to veteran players, as measured by free-agent contracts, no longer fits the MLB organizational spending model. Today, GM’s understand its cheap, young players that provide winning value. That’s the core which organizations build around, and when they mature (and ONLY then), is when free-agency (or dealing prospects for valuable veterans) makes sense.

Just because a team has money to spend, doesn’t mean they should spend it. Unexpected good fortune, or rainy days, could be just around the corner, and teams need to retain flexibility with their payroll. After all, this is baseball, and no one can predict it.

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Censored Comments on Russia Today’s “Keiser Report”

These comments were deleted by Russia Today’s moderators (censors). They pertained to the latest Keiser Report, “Should individuals campaign to get corporate rights?” (E1331).

I’ve learned that you can’t post any Trotskyist analysis on Russia Today. They are very sensitive about that.

Posted (& deleted on) Saturday evening, 1-12-19: I appreciate this show because I’m not a Wall Street insider, and Max Keiser has real world experience. Stacy Herbert is more scripted & cooler-headed, which balances things nicely.

But when it comes to politics they are both lost. There is 0% chance that Alexandra Ocasio Cortez will be US President in 2024. America will either have: A) fascism, which is where we are almost at now; or B) a global socialist revolution in permanence (Trotsky), which is what humanity needs to survive.

Alexandra Ocasio Cortez’s brand of liberalism died with Obama, and then Bernie 2016. Get control of your dick, Max, as that’s what’s driving her ratings, and you’re just feeding the machine. The rest of Washington is too ugly to look at, much less talk about, so Alexandra Ocasio Cortez is the much-needed D.C. poster-girl, who distracts the masses with her physical beauty & perceived innocence. It won’t last, trust me.

Posted (& NOT deleted on) Sunday morning, 1-13-19: Those who claim that cryptocurrency will lead to a transformation of society though a “peaceful revolution” have a poor understanding of history, politics, and the nature of money. The global banks which control the levers of power, will not give it up nicely. [Added here] No devil ever cut off his own claws, to quote Trotsky.

Posted (& deleted on) Sunday morning, 1-13-19: The basis of value for money is in commodities produced by human labor. Money represents an amount of congealed labor which produces a necessary commodity. Bitcoin, on the other hand, is produced by supercomputers, and is useless in the big picture. Its only value is for people who want to hide illicit transactions, avoid taxes, etc– which exposes its fraudulent nature. Cryptocurrency, and the “freedom” its proponents are selling, is a Ponzi scheme.

Update Finale: Mon 14 Jan 2019 05:30 PM EST : A US President takes an oath “to defend the Constitution.” This founding document of our republic authorizes spending to be mandated & approved by Congress, and also contains a 13th Amendment, which criminalizes slave labor. When half of the 800,000 shut down government workers are told to work for no pay, because they are “essential,” then that’s slave labor.

Donald Trump should have be impeached by now for this attack on the US working class, its government agencies & the Constitution, but bilateral collaboration between Vichy Democrats & Nazi Republicans has saved his seat in the Oval Office– for now.

How much more of this will unpaid government workers take? The power of the working class is never seriously discussed in the bourgeois media, but it is now being fiercely debated behind closed doors (always!) in ruling circles across the globe.

Workers globally need to unite, raise their political consciousness, and speak & act in their own interests. The US two-party system is dead, and needs to be overturned. Only a socialist revolution led by the most advanced elements of the working class can achieve this.

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Merry New Year!!

The New Year has arrived and one can sense a mood of revolution in the air. Being out on New Year’s Eve in Orlando, in a working-class area, gave me a sense that most people were glad 2018 was ending, and hopeful for a much better 2019. How this will happen is still-to-be-determined, but that is what’s on the minds of people who work & struggle.

The level of fakeness in everything: from our food, to our jobs, to news & entertainment has become too obvious. People are no longer accepting mainstream “experts” at their word. This includes all mass media in sports, politics & business. None of these platforms have much helpful content anymore, as it’s been discredited as “fake news.”

Facebook threw in its lot with the NSA/CIA a few years back, and now it’s come home to roost, as Fakebook has been exposed for its manipulations. “Fake news” was the epithet these fakesters threw at whistle-blowers & socialists, before & since Trump 2016, but their Big Lie has blown back onto themselves.

People now recognize their false flag operations almost instantly, as “conspiracy theorists” on the left have more credibility than anyone on the internet now.  The World Socialist Website (wsws.org) is the most feared online publication, from a bourgeois perspective, and therefore it is the most-censored.

Mainstream media always tries to smear leftists & Marxists, together with right-wing “conspiracy theorists.” When a neo-fascist such as Alex Jones goes too far with his hate, he’s stifled by the CIA Democrats/deep state; for the purpose of setting a precedence of censorship, which is then ALWAYS used with redoubled vigor against leftists.

This is why the media is working so hard at this moment to confuse the population on the issues of left wing vs. right wing politics. Left wingers are what used to be called “liberals,” when that term still meant something (back in the 1970’s, maybe). Right wing is nationalism & racism. The dirty secret is that BOTH lead to fascism, as that’s capitalism. The political “right” wing leads with brute force, while the political “left” wing cowers & enables by deceiving a constituency that cares.

The two-party system is best described as a political straitjacket. In it, there is very little room to maneuver, and nothing is tolerated to get out. Once this harness is removed, the possibilities are endless, and this is what excites people who have been struggling for a long time, meaning 80-90% of the world’s population.

This phenomenon is happening globally. The “yellow vests” in France are an international symbol of working class unity, in defiance of an authority which has only mistreated them. It’s the arrogance on display, which assumes workers are dull & ignorant masses, that has caught up with them. This has alarmed (frightened) the ruling elites. That’s why the stock markets are crashing, and that’s why there’s political unrest in every country, as social inequality & living conditions have become intolerable.

On top of that, no nation state is doing nearly enough to curtail global warming, which only gets worse every year. I wrote this straight-forward song over 20 years ago, during the wildfires of 1998 in Florida, and it’s more true that ever– which really bothers me. No progress, only denialism and more “free market” giveaways to the richest 10%. That’s not sustainable.

We just had a completely ridiculous midterm “election” in the US, and already now, Democrat Elizabeth Warren has announced her intention to run for US President in 2020. We’re now caught up in a permanent cycle of politicians campaigning for office, which involves setting real issuers aside, and attacking opponents on whatever is allowed– sex scandals, etc…

I’m with those that maintain we need to cancel “Election 2020” in 2019. Do you want to go through another “election” like 2016, only worse? Most thinking people recoil at the thought, yet that is exactly where we are heading, unless there is revolutionary intervention from the masses.

It needs to be coordinated, international, and under complete worker control. The trade unions and their ideological appendages (ISO, etc) need to be cast into the dustbin of history. Workers need to elect their own leaders, and develop their own independent political perspective, outside of the straitjacket system.

Political consciousness needs to be raised on a mass scale, with a clear understanding of what genuine socialism is. It is: 1) worker control over production; 2) social equality in that everyone has what they need; and 3) the end of nationalism & secret diplomacy, which are root causes of global conflict. Everyone is truthfully informed on everything, and is allowed to voice their thoughts publicly.

Notice how there is nothing irrational or evil in that correct definition of socialism, as defined by Karl Marx & Fredrick Engels. Yet mainstream (bourgeois) pundits & “intellectuals” always insist that socialism is a Russian plot meant to destroy all human joy, and turn us into automatons. Ironically, that’s what’s happening under capitalism; so once again, this should be recognized as another application of the “Big Lie” technique by the elites.

Donald Trump made a HUGE blunder when he shutdown the US government over the holidays, insisting on full funding for his wall at the US-Mexico border. It’s just like this overgrown child, to dig in on something that is so doomed to fail. Over 800,000 federal workers aren’t getting paid, and some are even being required to stay on-the-job without pay. What are these workers supposed to say to their bill collectors?

Trump impresses stupid & racist people because he appeals to their emotions– fear, hate & anger. He forced this government shutdown to whip up support from his constituent base, which has largely evaporated. Sure, there are still small minorities of hardcore fascists, who will defend & fight for Trump until the bitter end; but many of his 2016 supporters have jumped ship, and now view him as a liability.

This political stand-off which puts government workers at risk of losing their homes, is really be an impeachable crime. Trump claims he wants jobs in the US, to “Make America Great Again,” while trash piles up in our national parks & monuments, because workers have been furloughed.

It’s time for the US workers to take back their land, by uniting in numbers and across all industries, to reject these hucksters & stick-figurines who are leading humanity into an abyss. The crisis is one of leadership. There are no leaders on Capitol Hill, just corporate criminals– playing with tanks. It’s time to come together and elect new leaders, with real world experience. We need them everywhere, more than ever.

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Christmas Card

The holiday season came with a bear, as stock markets around the world are simultaneously crashing. Trade wars, led by the US, have constipated global trade. Nothing is moving, and the US Federal Reserve has begun raising interest rates, which had been kept near zero for years.

These 0.25% interest rates were for the banks, not for small businesses or working people. No college graduate with massive student loan debt was allowed to refinance at near-zero either. For working people it’s 6.9%. Or 13.9%. Or 29.9%. That’s how banks made their money during this “longest bull market in history.”

It was actually the longest bullshit market in history, fueled by free money electronically “printed” by the Fed, and given to banks to prop up their worthless “assets.” We’re talking everything: from stocks & bonds, to currency & cryptocurrency, as being a massive speculative bubble.

There has been no real-world basis for new money creation, since the Fed began “quantitative easing.”  QE is where the Fed prints new money (even though there is no economic basis for it), so it can give it to itself & it’s cronies. That’s crony capitalism in a plutocracy. Works great for the 1%.

These elites have no concept of reality, and believe all their bullshit to the end. It’s the working people, who have been getting shafted for the longest time, who need to rise up with political awareness & revolutionary intentions. Otherwise the cost of this financial crisis, which the ruling class created & is entirely responsible for, will be shifted onto their backs– again.

This is THE BIG ONE. In 2007-08, the US Federal Reserve still had the capacity to absorb Wall Street’s losses, by shifting them onto the books of the federal government, meaning US taxpayers are now responsible for the ~$21,000,000,000,000 federal deficit.

The level of debt for the 3 major US stock indexes (S&P 500, DJIA & NASDAQ) is in the hundreds of trillions of dollars, meaning it is unpayable. That’s the magic of compound interest, as once the level of principle owed gets so high, the interest payments become unservicable.

The gross world product in 2018 is projected at $87.5 trillion, and the Fed can’t print enough “new” money to sustain this financial house of cards, without making the dollar worthless. Under-performers that used to allowed to go bankrupt in an earlier stage of capitalism, are now deemed “too big to fail” in a bullshit market.

The industry term for this phenomenon is zombie company. Over 15% of US corporations are zombies by definition, and globally it’s 12%. Tesla is an example of a zombie corporation, in that it manufactures very little that is useful, at an extremely high cost. The debt level for Tesla is unpayable, yet CEO Elon Musk is allowed to parade around as a patriarch boy genius, when he’s really a neo-fascist Ponzi-scheme swindler– like all the rest. The world’s biggest banks & hedge fund managers are all tied into this shell game, and they have no answers, except more austerity, inequality & war.

The #MeToo campaign severely wrecked itself with it’s cringe-worthy performance at the infamous Kavanaugh Hearings this past October. They appear to have gathered all their strength for one last volley. For the #MeToo campaign, this could be the proverbial “dead cat bounce,” which happens when something crashes from a great height, and then for an instant appears to rise, only to collapse dead in a heap.

It was sensationally announced on Christmas Eve (yesterday) that actor/artist Kevin Spacey is to be charged with sexual assault on January 7, 2019. This comes from former Boston news anchor Heather Unruh, who accuses that Spacey had assaulted her adult son in July 2016.

Since her son was age-18 at the time, he should speak for himself, don’t you think? Readers aren’t even given the boy’s name in the mainstream press, it’s just his mother who speaks, and here’s the video– which published Nov 7, 2018 has <2,000 views. It’s beyond weak, but hey– that’s #MeToo.

Kudos to Kevin Spacey for his video retort, which published on December 24, 2018, already has over 4 million views, before noon (EST) on December 25, 2018. If Kevin Spacey & his legal team can handle this nonsense, then it’s lights out for #MeToo. Artists everywhere wish Spacey & his team well, and offer all our support– in the name of artistic freedom & democratic rights. Consider it a FU to #MeToo.

Q: You know what we’re going to get these #MeToo witch-hunters for Christmas next year?

A: A big wooden cross, so whenever they feel unappreciated for all their sacrifices, they can climb up on it and nail themselves to it.

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The MLB Free Agency Market: 2018-19

Padres signed 2B Ian Kinsler 2/$8M after the Winter Meetings. The timing here is significant, as Padres GM AJ Preller had to wait out the Rule 5 Draft to make any FA acquisitions with their full foster. As a result, the Padres lost zero players to the Rule 5 Draft, even though they have the top-rated farm system in baseball. Excellent roster management by AJP, who is now seeking a 3B. Currently, the best free agent option at third base is age-30 Mike Moustakas.

The Padres have no interest in Marlins catcher JT Realmuto, despite any “rumors” you are reading from industry hacks attempting to stoke the hot stove. I believe most teams have been put-off by Derek Jeter & Mike Hill’s unrealistic demands. Their problem is they have made so many bad deals in the past year, trading All-stars (& MVP’s) for junk prospects. The Marlins front office keeps thinking they are going to finally hit the motherlode, and it never happens. The other GM’s are all smarter, and that’s a huge problem in Miami. Their only hope at this point is if the Dodgers overpay for Realmuto, which isn’t likely, although although could happen.

Everyone in baseball keeps talking about RF Bryce Harper & SS Manny Machado, but it’s the other end of the free agent market that is the real story. Closer Craig Kimbrel declined a $17.9M qualifying offer (QO) from the Red Sox in November, as he’s reportedly seeking a 6-year deal. When the Dodgers signed hard-throwing ex-Red Sox set-up man Joe Kelly for 3/$25M last week, that sent a sobering message to the Kimbrel camp.

Carrying QO draft-pick compensation doesn’t help Kimbrel’s cause, as really he’s not worth 2/$15M at this point. Plus, who wants to give a valuable draft pick to the Red Sox? Kimbrel will be age-31 next season, with declining efficacy, and everyone saw his dismal performances in the post-season. The Mets & Dodgers are done spending stupid money on relievers, so there goes the market for overpays. Reality is going to bite him hard in January/February, when he will have to accept a concession contract, and it will be his fault. He should have accepted the QO. What kind of idiot on the backside of his career turns down $18M for one year?

Speaking of more stupid, the Mets (77-85 in 2018) have announced their intentions to be competitive in the near-future, by making a flurry of trades and free-agent signings this winter; acquiring 2B Robinson Cano & closer Edwin Diaz from the Mariners, while bringing back shaky reliever Jeurys Familia for 3/$30M. They just signed age-31 FA catcher Wilson Ramos for 2/$19M, which is another overpay.

A Mets “rumor” that has been circulated all winter has them trading RHP Noah Syndergaard to the Padres for all their top prospects. This will not happen, and is another wishful-thinking media-driven narrative. The Padres are probably more interested in acquiring RHP Sonny Gray from the Yankees.

Syndergaard is now arbitration eligible, after making $3M in 2018. His effectiveness is unquestionable, but his leadership & durability aren’t. The question this baseball fan has is: If the Mets are planning to compete in the near future, then why are they so desperate to trade a young Noah Syndergaard? He’s been on the trade block for the last 6 months or so, and no one is biting; so what do all the GM’s know about Noah Syndergaard, that we fans aren’t being told?

As mentioned above the Dodgers are looking for a catcher, after Yasmani Grandal declined his QO. Grandal turned 30 last month, and had a career season in 2018, (.241/.349/.466) in 140 games. The problem is that is defense is very suspect, as shown in the post-season. That’s why the Dodgers let him go. If the Mets preferred Ramos at 2/$19M, then what is Grandal worth? The answer is: A lot less than the $17.9M QO he rejected. Plus, what NL team wants to give the Dodgers their draft pick?

That’s the major bug-a-boo with QO’s, the draft pick compensation. That draft choice could be the next Mike Trout, so teams value it very highly– to the detriment of the FA who rejects the QO. Player arrogance & greed is clouding their better judgment, and their legal council stinks.

Another MLB free agent who rejected his QO is ex-Astros RHP Dallas Keuchel, who isn’t expected to sign until late January– at the earliest. Once again, it’s because the player & his agent have misjudged the market. The draft-pick compensation removes a significant amount of value from a free agent signing, and players have been slow to realize this phenomenon.

The owners & GM’s understand this well, and since they are the ones who hand out the contracts, they control the market. FA pitchers are high-risk, and after the results of signing Hu Darvish (Cubs) & Jake Arrieta (Phillies) last winter, no team wants to get burned like that again.

If a player accepts his qualifying offer, he gets $17.9M for one season, then becomes an unrestricted free agent next year, as a player can only be offered a QO once. Seven MLB players were offered QO’s in November of 2018. Dodgers pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu was the only one to (smartly) accept his $17.9 million qualifying offer.

Only LHP Patrick Corbin, who signed 6/$140M with the Nationals; and RF Bryce Harper were correct in rejecting their QO’s. The four others: Dallas Keuchel, Yasmani Grandal, Craig Kimbrel & A.J. Pollock all remain on the market, and will eventually have to sign a deal for a much lower average annual value than $18M. In light of this, what do you think of their agents?

The story of this winter in MLB will (again) be the falling free-agent salaries among the 2nd & 3rd-tier groups of players. The paydays they were promised by their agents & union leaders aren’t going to materialize. Younger & more valuable players are starting to realize their worth, and will soon be demanding a bigger piece of the pie. This is setting up to be a major league labor war down the road, as MLB ownership is intransigent about raising minimum salaries, and the MLBPA is a corrupt bureaucracy.

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Recounting Florida

It’s as easy as A-B-C, factored by 1-2-3…. This piece will be a serial… It ended up as 9,800+ words, and concluded ~ noon on Saturday, November 17, 2018, when it was all over– except for the crying.

Florida was the site of a stolen US Presidential election in 2000: Bush v Gore. Florida had massive chicanery & cheating on Election Day 2000, and was ultimately decided by a right-wing US Supreme Court decision to stop the counting of its ballots. The majority decision written by Antonin Scalia postulated that since the Electoral College determines the US President, voters don’t have the right to vote, so there is no need to count all the ballots. Look it up.

Here in 2018, the situation is different but the same. There is no Electoral College argument to be made this time around, but still expect some bizarre right-wing “logic” to win out in the end. Since 2000, Florida has come up with rules & procedures to handle these situations, which seem to arise every election. This bring a veneer of order & sensible rule to this mass insanity.

The state of Florida conducts an electronic recount when the margin of victory falls below 0.5%. A margin under 0.25%, calls for a manual recount. A manual recount does not mean every ballot is counted by hand, as only the votes that come up as an “undervote” or “overvote” get pulled for manual review. This is where we get into the nebulous universe of determining “voter intent,” which is impossible. At this point the votes are what they are, but things may still change– if that makes sense, which it shouldn’t.

The non-partisan approach is to look at the numbers, the voting machines, and any reported irregularities on Election day. Since we’re talking about Florida, we know there were “irregularities,” meaning massive vote rigging and disenfranchisement tactics to suppress opposing party support. This warps the actual numbers, and makes voter intent impossible to determine, at an individual level and on a mass scale. Both parties manipulate electronic voting machines (EVM’s), but in Florida it’s most pronounced by the Republicans against poor black & Hispanic voters, who typically lean Democrat in big cities.

The types of voting equipment used in US elections falls into 4 categories: Optical Scan Paper Ballot Systems, Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) Systems. Ballot Marking Devices and Systems, Punch Card Voting Systems– which you can research here, although not everything is accurate (or up-to-date) on ballotpedia.

Florida uses paper ballots with Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) systems. DRE systems are computers that record votes directly into the memory. With no paper trail receipt, individual vote auditing is impossible, as a partisan hacker in control of the election machine in their district can program an algorithm into the memory, or change vote totals manually– with no way of being detected, unless a recount is triggered. How each Floridian voted is impossible to verify. This entire election process couldn’t be more manipulated & anti-democratic.

Of course there were plenty of voter suppression, dirty tricks operations on Election Day (and since), as politics is war. A key point was reached by noon on Saturday November 10, as Florida governor Rick Scott was able to halt the official vote totals before they flipped to the Democrats– in both the Senate & governor races. This means they’ll probably win both races, eventually. They were definitely stolen, the manner of which I’ve already discussed at length, as we’ve seen this before. Even President Donald Trump has admitted he’s trying to steal Florida. Every once in awhile Trump tweets a truth, to the dismay of his handlers.

Rick Scott is suing the Supervisor of Elections in Broward County, Brenda Snipes, and Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections, Susan Bucher(D)– for allegedly mishandling vote counting. Broward’s vote counting since Tuesday greatly narrowed Republican leads in the Senate & governor’s race, and has flipped the Secretary of Agriculture to the Democrats. Rick Scott even went so far so to ask the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate. “I will not sit idly by while unethical liberals try to steal this election,” Scott told reporters.

Evidentially, Broward County’s elections supervisor mixed 20 “invalid ballots” with a pile of 205 “valid ballots,” fueling a Republican conspiracy theory that this is how the Democrats are stealing the U.S. Senate election in Florida. According to the Miami Herald, the “mistake” was discovered after Brenda Snipes agreed to turn over 205 provisional ballots to the county’s canvassing board for inspection. A majority of provisional ballots were deemed invalid for reasons such as registering to vote too late or voting at the wrong precinct. Multiply these issues by tens-of-thousands of others, and you start to get an idea of the scope of the problem with elections in Florida.

“The ballots cannot be identified,” Brenda Snipes explained to a lawyer for the Republican Party. Governor Rick Scott has controlled all aspects of Florida elections over the past eight years, so who’s to blame? Democratic lawyer Marc Elias said he expected some of the voters affected to “fight for their votes.” Question: How can they fight for their vote, when they can’t audit their vote?

Rick Scott spokesman, Chris Hartline said in a statement, “The voters of Florida have spoken and Rick Scott was elected to the United States Senate in a close but decisive victory. It’s time for Senator Nelson to accept reality and spare the state of the Florida the time, expense and discord of a recount.”

Senator Bill Nelson countered, “This process is about one thing: making sure every legal ballot is counted and protecting the right of every Floridian to participate in our democracy. We believe when every legal ballot is counted, we’ll win this election.” Bill Nelson’s re-election campaign is suing the Florida Secretary of State, Ken Detzner over the signature matching process that is used to validate provisional ballots. You get the idea here?

As of noon Saturday, November 10, 2018, when all the ballots had to be submitted for a final count, these are the official Florida vote totals in the three contested races.

US Senate: 100% of precincts reporting

Rick Scott (R) 4,098,107 50.1%
Bill Nelson* (D) 4,085,545 49.9%
Total Votes 8,183,652

Florida Governor: 100% of precincts reporting

Ron DeSantis (R) 4,075,879 49.6%
Andrew Gillum (D) 4,042,195 49.2%
Total Votes 8,218,616

Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services: 100% of precincts reporting

Nikki Fried (D) 4,030,337 50.03%
Matt Caldwell (R) 4,025,011 49.97%
Total Votes 8,055,348

Note: On election night this open race was called for Matt Caldwell, but has since flipped to the Democrat Nikki Fried.

Cowardly Democrat and mayor of Tallahassee Andrew Gillum, who (above) conceded to Ron DeSantis before midnight on November 6, boldly walked back his concession on Saturday, November 10. Gillum roared, “I am replacing my words of concession with an uncompromising and unapologetic call that we count every single vote. And I say this recognizing that my fate in this may or may not change.”

Reading between the lines, one gets the sense that Andrew Gillum doesn’t mind losing again, if he has to. Standing up for the voting rights of his constituency was the furthest thing from Gillum’s mind when he conceded to a racist billionaire opponent on Election night. Ron DeSantis, pronounced the results “clear and unambiguous,” and stated that “with the election behind us,” he was planning for his transition as governor.

And thus the imbecile who began his campaign by stating that Florida shouldn’t “monkey up” this election, prepares to take office. DeSantis is in the best position of the four candidates for the two offices. If there needs to be a bipartisan compromise, it’s Rick Scott who will take the bullet for the Republicans.

Democrats & Republicans are responsible for this mess. Something as simple as counting votes is the easiest thing in the world to do, if it’s done fairly. Nothing about this election was fair. When the process becomes this opaque & complex, it becomes impossible to hide the corruption. The methods used to manipulate & win elections are kept veiled, because what they reveal is ugly, heartless & evil.

What this stand-off in Florida represents is the breakdown of US electoral politics. As mentioned in previous pieces, Florida is the key battleground state in American politics. The Republicans especially, WILL NOT yield it; particularly the governor’s mansion, which is vital to Trump’s 2020 bid. The Democrats are only half-hearted in their fight for voters’ rights, which is why I expect them to lose the Florida recounts. History can recall.

For all those who yelled, “Vote!” on election day, my reply is: “For what, Democrats who give up the fight on election night?” I abstained on November 6, and I was correct to do so, it turns out. Those who voted in Florida, only legitimized a corrupt process, and this is the proof. It’s a ridiculous charade, where winners are announced, even in the tightest of races, before all the ballots are even counted. It’s already another legal & political circus here in Florida, with no signs of justice in sight. It will take a revolution to bring fairness to the people Florida, and everywhere else.

Update: Tue 13 Nov 2018 10:01:48 AM EST

The biggest issue in covering this Florida recount is getting accurate facts on anything that matters. This whole process is being blanketed by a smokescreen of lawsuits & media misinformation. Google and all the other search engines have been wiped clean again, making online research difficult, if not impossible. Politicians & their compliant media lapdogs are assiduously working together to confuse the public, which is business as usual.

In the Panhandle, where Hurricane Michael depopulated the region on October 10, 2018, it’s now being alleged that voters were allowed to fax or email their votes. Elections Supervisor Mark Andersen in heavily Republican Bay County told the Miami Herald on Monday that he allowed about 150 people to cast ballots by email, which is illegal under state law. [1]

On Monday morning, a Miami judge ruled against a request by Rick Scott’s legal team to impound Broward County ballots & machines not being used in the recount. Democrats fired back with another lawsuit of their own, asking that Scott be barred from using “the power of his office in any manner related to Florida’s 2018 Senate race as long as he remains a candidate.”

This followed a public statement from Senator Bill Nelson over the weekend, asking Rick Scott to recuse himself from the office of governor during the recount. It’s political gamesmanship on all sides here in Florida, and the will of the people is used for leverage of candidates, not voters’ rights.

On Wednesday, a judge will hear a request from Bill Nelson that all absentee & provisional ballots that were tossed out over mismatched signatures be reexamined. It remains unclear (to the public), how many absentee & provisional ballots are disputed & uncounted in Florida’s 67 counties.

Since provisional ballots are an area of contention, let’s define the term. A ballot is marked provisional by a county election official if there are questions concerning voter eligibility. If 1) a voter doesn’t have a photo ID at the polling place, 2) a voter casts a ballot at the “wrong” precinct, or 3) an absentee ballot is mailed without a signature; these ballots can be identified as “provisional.” Provisional ballots must be reviewed & certified by local election officials before being added to the official count. Right now the vote totals are considered unofficial.

The recount of 700,000 votes in Broward county, began on Sunday after a three-hour delay was caused by a machine that wasn’t registering all ballots when tested. “The Democrats are challenging the calibration of the machines, they are saying it was a machine glitch,” Bill Scherer, Scott’s attorney told the South Florida Sun Sentinel on Sunday, to explain the under votes. The Sun Sentinel provided no further explanation as to why the EVM’s weren’t working properly, or what the specific problems were? [2]

Palm Beach & Miami-Dade counties started their recounts Saturday evening, while most other counties began on Monday. About 8.2 million total votes were cast in the statewide election.

On Thursday, November 15 at 3 PM, unofficial returns are due in Tallahassee, and Secretary of State, Pam Bondi (R) determines which races meet the less than a 0.25% victory-margin threshold to order a hand recount. Election officials in Broward county have already stated that they won’t be able to complete the machine recount in time, due to the massive workload. This will probably mean more lawsuits on Friday. All parties have until November 30 to file any claims concerning the election.

Elections staff in Broward county had more than 3.5 million pages to sort before they could even start the actual recount — a task estimated to take up to 35 hours, said Joseph D’Alessandro, director of election planning and development. According to him, out of Broward’s 714,000 votes; 299,000 ballots were cast in early voting, 226,000 were cast on Election Day, and 189,000 were mail-in ballots.

On Friday, November 16, the count begins for military & overseas ballots post-marked Nov. 6 or earlier. Why these ballots weren’t counted on election night is unexplained.

On Sunday, November 18 at noon, county canvassing boards hand count results are due in Tallahassee. Each board examines provisional ballots and outstanding absentee ballots to determine whether they should be counted. Each of Florida’s 67 counties has a canvassing board made up of the supervisor of elections, a county court judge and county commission chair. [3]

According to this scheduled timeline, on Tuesday, November 20 at 9 AM, the Elections Canvassing Commission, consisting of governor Rick Scott & two cabinet members, will meet to certify the November 6 election. I confidently predict that the US Senate race results in Florida won’t be official by then.

Afternoon Update: Tuesday ~ 1:30 PM EST

This Florida recount mirrors the candidates campaigns, with the media distortion now amped up to 20. Instead of campaign ads, both sides are lawyering up, as accusations of cheating, manipulation & fraud are flying. This creates lots of media coverage: print, television & internet. Many of the accusations are true, on both sides; so what does that mean?

At this point, the public debate in the media is over a corrupt process & their candidates. The level of passion over this in the streets of Florida is virtually nil. That’s what I’m seeing anyways, as campaign signs were removed the day after the election, and no one is protesting in numbers. This Florida recount isn’t evoking the passion of 2000: 1) because it isn’t for US President (although it really is– as discussed above), and 2) because both parties are widely seen as bankrupt. The second point is the bigger factor here.

As one who didn’t vote in 2018, you may be wondering why I’m defending Floridians’ voting rights so steadfastly? It’s to illustrate the hypocrisy of this fixed process called elections, which too many people still believe in. At this point, it may be helpful to take a few steps back and answer this fundamental question, “What would a fair election and recount process look like?”

This presumes the candidates are representatives of the people, which they’re not; and that money isn’t a deciding factor, which is most certainly is. Setting all that capitalist corruption aside, an election can be fairly managed with ease in this digital age, but people have to understand & care. When votes get “lost,” or changed without knowledge, then what’s to believe in?

Here’s some common sense. Every voter should receive some form of receipt when they finish voting, the same way you get a slip of paper when you buy anything at a store. This “voting receipt” should have the information for the holder to audit their vote online, or wherever. If there’s an issue, the voter can contact the Supervisor of Elections to address the grievance. The receipt could even be electronically sent to cellphones or verified email addresses.

Also all ballots, including absentee overseas, et cetera, need to be counted on election night. Any “provisional” ballots need to be cleared up as quickly as possible: in a fair, transparent & democratic manner. This can be easily accomplished if each voter has a receipt. Counting the ballots of US soldiers, risking their livers oversees, a week after the election, is insulting. Insisting their ballots be thrown out is fascist. That’s Florida politics on both sides of the aisle.

Notice that the “common sense” I’ve just expressed in a few sentences, is nothing close to the current Florida election & recount process, and that’s by design. Once a vote is cast, a voter has no control over what happens next. This amorphic mass of ~8.2 million votes that are now being recounted in Florida, are claimed by both parties as their own. But no voter claims their individual vote anymore, or knows how it was registered, as it’s become a congealed lump of winner-takes-all politics. Everyone seems to miss this anti-democratic aspect, by not discussing it.

The Republican machinery specializes in rigged elections, and as Trump’s popular support continues to wane, this tactic becomes an evermore important strategy used to win elections. If the votes were counted honestly everywhere in the US, then the Republicans would be swept out of office in a few terms. That’s been a dirty GOP campaign secret since the late 1990’s.

The Democrats feel the same way when they face opposition from genuine socialist candidates on the left. The only real socialist of the US midterm ballot in 2018 was Niles Niemuth, for the Socialist Equality Party (SEP). In the Michigan 12th Congressional district, Debra Dingell easily won re-election, in what is considered a “safe seat” for Democrats by political insiders.

Niles Niemuth ran an amazing campaign, using the World Socialist Web Site to cover & promote his Congressional campaign for international socialism. Support for Niemuth was global, in political sympathy & monetary contributions. There was no other campaign like it in 2018. Here were the official results in Michigan’s 12th Congressional District election, per ballotpedia:

Candidate Pct.          Vote            total

Debbie Dingell (D)      68.2       199,690
Jeff Jones (R)            28.8          84,220
Gary Walkowicz          2.3            6,691
Niles Niemuth  (I)        0.8            2,200

Total votes: 292,801

Here’s an interesting bit of data from ballotpedia, concerning campaign spending in the Michigan 12th for US Congress, as of September 30, 2018:

Debra Dingell (D)               $1,085,073
Jeff Jones (R)                    $19,118
Gary Walkowicz (WCP)    $0    [!?]
Niles Niemuth (SEP)         $2,832

The Working Class Party candidate Gary Walkowicz (above) was credited with 6.691 votes, having officially spent NO money on the campaign. That’s unprecedented, so I wonder, “How does that happen?” Niles Niemuth was credited with 2,200 votes, which was surely under-counted– probably by at least one digit. Niemuth’s total “war chest” available (as of 9/30) was $3,874. Debra Dingell had another ~$440,000 on hand as of those dates. As you can see, the Republicans punted on this district.

Here are a few excerpts from an article published November 2, 2018 on the WSWS, titled, “Who are Gary Walkowicz and the Working Class Party?”

Walkowicz is a member of the bargaining committee of United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 600 in Dearborn, Michigan, which covers Ford’s Rouge complex. This is the third consecutive election in which he has run for Congress from the 12th District against incumbent Democrat Debbie Dingell… The WCP is an electoral front… for the trade union officialdom.

The most striking thing about the Working Class Party’s election platform itself is its formlessness. It takes no position on any concrete political question. On the most critical issues of the day, including the drive to war against Russia and China, the crisis of the Trump administration, the bipartisan assault on immigrants, the Democrats’ anti-Russian campaign and the growth of internet censorship, the Working Class Party has literally nothing to say. [4]

If there was a fair recount in the Michigan 12th district, I don’t believe Gary Walkowicz would win even 100 votes; as whomever his supporters are, they all vote Democrat. The Working Class Party was apparently formed before the 2012 election, but according to their Wikipedia page, “the Working Class Party has no website of its own, but many of its leaflets and statements can be found on the independent website www.workingclassfight.com.”

Their newly-formed headquarters is in Detroit, Michigan, indicates the Working Class Party are a CIA/deep state campaign to keep the Socialist Equality Party in check. The SEP has long been headquartered in this area, which is why Niles Niemuth ran for US Congress in the 12th. His was the only SEP campaign of the entire US midterm, obviously due to lack of funds. The WSWS, SEP & Niles Niemuth still made quite an impact, which is all-the-more reason to suspect their vote totals were rigged.

Update: Wed 14 Nov 2018 03:15 AM EST

All 67 counties in Florida are in some stage of recounting their ballots, running them through electronic vote tabulators. The three largest voting system manufacturers in the U.S. are Elections Systems and Software (ES&S), Dominion, and Hart Intercivic. This PDF provides important specifics concerning the electronic voting machines & software used in Florida’s 2018 elections.

Election Systems & Software (ES&S) is an Omaha, Nebraska-based company that manufactures and sells its direct-recording electronic (DRE) machines, vote tabulators, election software (EVS & DS200), absentee voting-by-mail services, as well as professional support to 48 of Florida’s 67 counties. ES&S counts Florida’s votes, where they count the most.

This highly-lucrative EVM market is murky murky, as it involves giving high-paying clients what they demand, which is machines they can secretly control & manipulate. When looking at Republican suppression of Democrat voters in urban Florida, ES&S appears to be the GOP’s secret weapon.

According to Wikipedia, “ES&S is the largest manufacturer of EVM’s in the US, claiming customers in 4,500 localities in 42 states and two U.S. territories. As of 2014, the company had more than 450 employees, more than 200 of whom are located in Omaha,” a regional center for global hedge-fund investment.

“ES&S has installed statewide voting systems in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, and West Virginia. ES&S claims a U.S. market share of more than 60 percent in customer voting system installations.” [5]

Dominion Voting Systems Corporation was founded in 2002 in Toronto, by John Poulos & James Hoover, and acquired Diebold Election Systems in 2010. Dominion vendors EVM services to the remaining 19 counties in Florida, 18 of which are rural & hard Republican.

The notable exception is Palm Beach, which is adjacent to Dade county, and currently the source of the most-heated bipartisan contention. It appears Dominion is used by the Republican machinery in Florida, mainly to inflate their vote in stronghold rural counties. We’ll soon see how the Dominion machines recount the votes in Palm Beach county, and I predict the results will be statistically fascinating.

To complete this EVM overview, Hart InterCivic Inc. is the smallest of the three voting machine companies, headquartered in Austin, Texas. Hart InterCivic Inc. EVM’s are used in parts of Texas, the entire states of Hawaii and Oklahoma, half of Washington & Colorado, and certain counties in Ohio, California, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. [6]

Florida’s population has continued to grow, as the number of registered voters by the 2018 primaries was 13,013,657. In the 2016 primaries, that was 12.37 million, and in the 2014 primaries it was 11.8 million. Florida’s estimated total population in 2018 is 21.31 million.

Donald Trump’s post-midterm ratings among US voters are 46% approval, with 52% disapproval. What we see now in US politics are “leaders” at all levels who are unable to maintain a mandate of approval from the majority of voters. If one counts non-voters, these approval numbers drop even more dramatically.

In Florida, among its roughly 13 million registered voters, only 8.2 actually voted in 2018. Over 37% consciously abstained, or didn’t care. Those 4.8 million registered Florida voters who skipped this election are more votes than any candidate received, making this group the largest constituency. This fact is true everywhere, and yet it is concealed in all bourgeois media analysis of “red & blue waves.”

Whoever wins the Senate & governorship will receive ~ 4.2 million votes in their favor. In a state with a census of 21.3 million, that means the winner (whenever it’s decided), actually represents only 20% of the people.  Factor in all these candidate’s low job approval ratings & lack of popularity, and their political legitimacy dwindles even more.

For example, many Florida voters who checked Bill Nelson in the Senate, did so because they HATE Rick Scott, not because they love the Democratic incumbent. Here are both Florida senators approval ratings, published on October 10, 2018 to illustrate my point. N/O means no opinion, and M/E is margin of error.

Senator           Approve Disapprove N/O M/E

Marco Rubio (R)     41%     42%      17%   1%
Bill Nelson (D)         39%     41%      21%   1%

The same “lesser evilism” attitude is true for those Republican voters who checked off Ron DeSantis, a billionaire clown (below) who excited no one. DeSantis’ luck was that Republican racists HATED the idea of a black Democrat as governor of Florida, more than anything else. That, and all the resources the Trump team & Rick Scott provided DeSantis.

When you look at approval/disapproval ratings like these across-the-board, you realize that 20% approval is still giving the political victor far too much popular credit. Since half the voters who supported any candidate do so, only because they hate they other candidate/party more, it’s more like 10-12% of the population that is actually represented, whomever wins- Democrat or Republican. That’s why all these campaigns were centered around attack ads, as no one offers serious solutions that anyone can believe in.

On Tuesday (yesterday), there were two counties where recount efforts made the news. Mark Andersen, Bay County Supervisor of Elections, stood by his decision to accept 147 faxed & emailed ballots. This partisan Republican, thinly disguised as a neutral public official, cited the hardship of Hurricane Michael as the reason for changing (defying) Florida law.

I agree with his actions, but listen to Andersen’s rhetoric, and then compare it to his sympathies for any election hardships in Dade, Broward & Palm Beach counties, which are dealt with much differently by cynical Republicans, that’s for sure. The Bay county recount was finished on Tuesday, and according to Mark Andersen (below), “the numbers came back where they should have been.”

A few days earlier, the headlines in the Daytona Beach News Journal read, “Volusia elections chief says recount process going smoothly.” Yesterday must seem so far away for Volusia County Supervisor of Elections, Lisa Lewis who was on the verge of tears Tuesday, as Volusia county ended their recount with a 240-vote discrepancy.

Lisa Lewis stated to the media, “When we were comparing the totals from last night, when we finished that, to the first unofficial results, we noticed in the vote-by-mail and ballots and the early voting ballot counts that they were off. When the jam goes through and we think that it [the ballot] has counted, it truly hasn’t in some of those batches that were jammed.”

Once staff learned the totals were off, they brought in the three machines to process another recount of the Volusia county ballots. This 240-vote discrepancy in such a small-sample size (vote-by-mail & early voting ballot) is alarming, and it obviously shook the belief & confidence of the Volusia County Supervisor of Elections, who was a true believer.

In this video above, published August 21, 2018, Lisa Lewis describes the seriousness with which she takes her job. Lewis informs us that she has a background in banking, and performs her duties as election supervisor with the same professional care. Each vote is like money, she explains, which is sacred. But sacred for whom?

In her banking analogy, Lewis reveals more than she intends. Most people consider banks as institutions that hold their money for them, until it’s needed. A customer makes a deposit, and gets a receipt for it. This receipt of accounts gives the bank customer the power to withdraw their money at any time.

In Florida elections, voters have none of these rights, as they go to the polls and deposit their ballots, which are never to be seen or accessed again by that individual. Lewis declares the secrecy of “protecting the privacy of the voter,” to be a key component in maintaining secure & fair elections. Her analogy more resembles the methods banks use to steal money from their depositors when the market crashes.

Finally, listening to 55+ year-olds reassuring us (the public) of election cybersecurity, is laughable; as if thumbdrives & EVM’s can’t be infected with hidden malware.

Update: Wednesday, 14 Nov 2018 05:38 PM EST

It looks like Florida 2018 will come down to Palm Beach County (again), as it’s vote-counting machinery overheated while tabulating late last night, forcing Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher to recount 175,000 ballots. There are over 600,000 ballots to recount in Palm Beach County, Florida’s 3rd-most populous.

Bucher said today that she had noticed the machines were starting to fail “a couple days ago,” and didn’t all fail at the same time, but rather have intermittent problems. Ghosts in the machines, it seems. Service technicians have been flown in to help. “The machines started to overheat, then malfunctioned,” she said. “We’d let them cool off. Then eventually we just needed parts.”

Bucher already had assured the public she could NOT recount the U.S. Senate, governor and agriculture commissioner races, as well as a local state House race, by Thursday’s state-mandated 3 PM deadline. Palm Beach county voting machines can’t tabulate the recounts of all the undecided races at once, like machines in other Florida counties can.

The Palm Beach county deadline to finish the recount was extended to November 20, in a lawsuit the Democrats won a few days back, but it is about to be challenged by Republican attorneys in a higher court. If the votes aren’t completely recounted by 3 PM tomorrow, the original unofficial totals become official, according to Florida law. That would surely tip both the senate & governor’s races to the Republicans.

Did I mention earlier that there would be “statistically fascinating” results in Palm Beach county, due to the voting machines? Bang, right on cue. Looking at the distribution of ES&S vs. Dominion EVM’s in Florida, the pattern of distribution is clearly along partisan lines, with Palm Beach county as the key exception. Evidentially, this county is using antiquated Diebold machines. As reported earlier, Diebold was bought out by Dominion in 2010.

Recall the 2000 election, when butterfly ballots were used to confuse & suppress Democratic voters in Palm Beach county, which allowed Bush/Cheney to steal Florida by 537 votes. That decided the White House for 8 years. The same process is now occurring in Palm Beach county, electronically. The Republicans have supplied the Supervisor of Elections with malfunctioning equipment, which can’t possible do its job correctly in time.

In the end, the responsibility for this comes down to Florida governor Rick Scott, who was in Washington, DC today, for a photo-op with the freshman GOP senatorial class, of which he isn’t yet part of, but it sends a message, right?

Rick Scott has pointed fingers all around the state in the past week, but as governor in this time, he has done nothing to help these local officials do their jobs. The media scrutiny of many of these Supervisors of Elections is unfair, as most are just trying to get their results turned in, as quickly & correctly as possible. When asked today by a Washington reporter if he still believed voter fraud was going on with the Florida recount, Rick Scott remained silent.

Evening Thoughts: Wednesday 14 Nov 2018 09:48 PM EST

Rick Scott is in Washington, and the earlier photo-op was just a sideshow. He’s surely meeting with the Trump team, including Roger Stone, Stephen Bannon, & their ilk– as this is about 2020. If this Florida recount goes through, the results are going to match the polling, meaning Democrats Bill Nelson & Andrew Gillum will win. The Democrats seem confident in this, and the Republicans are acting very nervous. Bill Nelson is a hardline CIA Democrat, who won’t give up his seat easily. He has played this recount well (politically speaking), in comparision to Scott, DeSantis & Gillum.

A Leon county judge ruled in favor of the 5-day extension for Palm Beach county to finish its recount. Governor Rick Scott is a lawyer, looking for a federal judge who can intercede of his behalf to stop the extended recount. It’s ironic that as governor Rick Scott has every ability to enforce Florida law, he just hates doing it on himself.

In 2000, it was the US Supreme Court that intervened, by overruling the Florida Supreme Court, stopping the counting of ballots. Those who follow politics may remember that there is now a hard-right 5-4 majority on the US Supreme Court, with the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh. Anything is possible, and evil minds in DC surely are planning a nefarious conspiracy against the people of Florida and their right to have their votes counted.

The overwhelming mood among Floridians, who have been through this before, is disgust. Floridians are sick & tired of being used as pawns on some grand Machiavellian chessboard, every election. For those who don’t live in Florida, you would do well to pay attention, as this affects you too. The only reason this kind of manipulation doesn’t happen in your state, is because it doesn’t matter like Florida in terms of electoral votes in a battleground state. If you live in Ohio or Pennsylvania, then you may have an idea of what this is like, but you are still a distant second & third– in terms of experience in electoral manipulation.

Florida is a complex, ever-changing region & demographic. The environment of this beautiful state is being destroyed at an accelerated rate due to unchecked global warming & corporate pollution. The business environment in central Florida was destroyed by the Economic Crash of 2008, as millions lost their homes, businesses & families. What’s left is infrastructural decay & economic blight, with powerful hurricanes and other natural disasters impacting the state every year, and no solutions in sight.

To illustrate the accelerated rate of decay in central Florida, let’s examine two maps of MLB Spring Training locations over the decades. The first is from the 1980’s, as the Boston Red Sox were still in Winter Haven. This map has an excellent view of I-4, which runs from I-75 in Tampa to I-95 in Daytona, (so it really isn’t an interstate). I-4 runs through Orlando, which means Disney & tourism. I-4 is a congested nightmare, and is hated by commuters in central Florida, who blame regional & state planners for their lack of vision & problem-solving initiative.

The “I-4 corridor” is analyzed to death by political pundits as being the key to elections in Florida. They are correct in that, as this gauntlet of urbanization across central Florida contains every racial demographic, but is largely working class & poor. The average yearly income for a Floridian is $31,740. A bachelors degree in the Sunshine State earns $43,969 on average, and a graduate degree $59,058. If that seems low, that’s because it is. Both parties are trying to connect with, and win votes from, a demographic that it neither recognizes, nor understands.

The next Grapefruit League map is dated between 2004-07. The Nationals (not Expos) are in Viera, and the Devil Rays changed their mascot name to the Rays in 2008. By this map, the Reds had already left for Sarasota, replacing the White Sox who migrated to Arizona. The Reds abandoned field in Plant City is now sometimes used as a softball complex. Since the Crash of 2008, the Royals have gone to Arizona, and the Indians too. The Astros have moved southeast to share a facility with the Nationals, who also drifted south.

In our MLB Grapefruit images above, the franchises located in the I-4 corridor were: the Reds in Plant City, the Tigers in Lakeland, the Red Sox/Indians in Winter Haven, the Royals in Baseball (Haines) City, the Braves in Buena Vista (Disney), the Astros in Kissimmee, and the Twins in Orlando. After 2019 Spring Training next March, another franchise will be abandoning central Florida, as the Braves are leaving their beautiful facility at Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex, to join the rest on the coast.

There’s more money to be made elsewhere, and that’s where the MLB franchises have gone, as every spring training team in the I-4 corridor (save the Tigers) has either: 1) moved to the east or west coast of Florida, or 2) relocated to Arizona. That roughly mimics the condition of those who live here, who have been left behind to fend for themselves, as no one in leadership is investing in jobs programs, infrastructure improvements, or environmental clean-up. Therefore, things continue to get worse.

Update: Thursday 15 Nov 2018 11:27 AM EST

More lawsuits & court rulings over disputed ballots & signature mismatches in the news, but nothing worth reporting here, as it’s a waiting game until 3 PM this afternoon. That’s when 66 of Florida’s 67 counties must deliver their recount, otherwise that county’s original numbers stand as official. Hats off to all those election workers who do their jobs honesty & well.

Every county’s recount will be a story in itself, whether it’s a significant shift in totals, or no change at all. Obviously it’s the largest counties that people will focus on the most, as that’s where the largest shifts in raw numbers can & will occur. The questions in each contested race are: How much, and for whom?

Here are Florida’s five largest counties by population:

Rank                 Population
1 Miami-Dade   2,751,796
2 Broward         1,935,878
3 Palm Beach   1,471,150
4 Hillsborough   1,408,566
5 Orange           1,348,975

The top-3 make up South Florida, the Miami-Fort Lauderdale corridor. BTW, shitty traffic there too. Hillsborough is Tampa, and Orange county is Orlando. Half of the rest of the top-15 most-populous Florida counties, are those that surround the top-5, including: Pinellas, Duval, Seminole, Brevard & Volusia county. Expect most-to-all of those counties to post significant recount gains for Democrat candidates. These counties are where the recount will be decided in the three statewide races.

There are 13 Florida counties with a population under 20,000, and another 18 with under 100,000, which sums 31, nearly half of Florida’s county total of 67. Note that this is population, not registered voters, but the point is the recounts here won’t matter significantly, because there are so few voters in these regions. At least three-quarters vote Republican, but they are very spread out, and much fewer in numbers. Their weight always gets over-emphasized on insipid red-blue electoral maps of Florida.

* Remember, Palm Beach county has until November 20 to finish its recount. If the vote totals still favor Scott & DeSantis after today’s recounts are re-tabulated statewide, then the Palm Beach election headquarters becomes the epicenter of US politics. Fascists always try to lie their way past a problem first. When that fails, they escalate to threats & intimidation. After that, they either: 1) give up & go back to lying, or 2) resort to provocative violence & goon squads. I don’t expect Trump or Scott to exercise restraint or civility, if it comes to that. The people of Florida need to be watchful & prepared!

When it comes to reporting this Florida election and recount, no one has been more on-the-ground than me. On August 24, 2018 I published “Florida’s 2018 Primaries,” which was the first analysis of the importance of the Florida governor’s race on Donald Trump’s chances in 2020, among many other factors.

Other analysis & front-line reporting has followed as events have progressed, including “Florida Gubernatorial Race & Trump 2020” and “Election Signals,” in which this entire mess was predicted, and it’s mechanism & primary participants revealed.

If you have been reading me up through this serial, then you are more up-to-date on what’s actually going on here, than anyone. Do you really believe the New York Times, Washington Post, or USA Today actually know anything about Florida? RealClearPolitics has been trying to demote the Florida recount on it’s hot-spot newsfeed, but it’s back up to #2– with a bullet. They’ve been reading me, just to catch up.

I’ve been reading the Miami Herald, Tampa Times, Daytona Beach News Journal & Palm Beach Post to get the facts, then I publish my thoughts. What I’ve noticed, is that it gets noticed. The local news is much more honest in it’s reporting, when they see & feel the presence of watchdogs, who are ready to call out the fakers. I recommend trying it.

Palm Beach County’s Election is Stolen by the Republican Machinery in Florida
Thu 15 Nov 2018 09:36 PM EST

Palm Beach Election Supervisor Susan Bucher, told the media this afternoon, “As a supervisor I take full responsibility. That’s my job. It was not for lack of human effort … it was so incredible, and I thank everybody who participated… it was the machines that failed. We gave a heroic effort and given probably three or four more hours we might have made it,”  she told a press conference.

Over 600,000 ballots remain uncounted, and it’s questionable whether they ever will be. In Palm Beach county, it’s now down to about 6,000 provisional ballots (1% of the total) for a hand recount, and military balloting. All votes must be in by Sunday, noon. Rules are rules, you understand?

The Palm Beach county recount has been halted (deja vu), before any of the races could be decided– and there were a total of four, including the three statewide contests. Police officers are seated in folding chairs, behind fold-up tables at Palm Beach election headquarters, where all the machines & bins of ballots are located. Four undecided races in the 3rd-most populous Florida county, over 600,000 ballots whose count is questionable (to say the least), and nothing is going on. It’s surreal.

The original (rigged) totals will be the official Palm Beach count, and there you have it. Faulty machinery, rigged vote tabulators and strictly enforced artificial deadlines are what wins “elections” in Florida. It’s the Republican way, and the Democrats don’t seem to mind. The local media has stopped digging, and has returned to mouthing the official narrative to the public. I smell a rat, meaning a bipartisan backroom deal.

Question: who owns the votes?  What happened to the 5-day extension for Palm Beach county, granted by the Leon county judge, you ask?  The Tampa Times reported this afternoon that a federal judge denied a request from Nelson’s campaign to have the Palm Beach county recount deadline extended.

There’s been virtually no media on this critical decision in the Florida recount process, as a federal judge has interceded on behalf of the Republicans, to halt the counting of Palm Beach county ballots. U.S. District Judge Mark Walker in Tallahassee, cited a bunch of nonsense in his statement to the press. He’s a sample, there’s more in the link above:

“There is a complete dearth of evidence before this Court concerning the status, progress, or expected completion of the ordered recounts in Palm Beach County,” he wrote. “In considering whether to grant the extraordinary relief of a preliminary injunction, the Court is required to balance the equities. … This balancing is effectively impossible without an understanding of the state and limitations of the current ongoing process…”

Judge Mark Walker’s argument of “dearth of “evidence,” is false. Myself and plenty of others have provided plenty of evidence & context. In other words, cluelessness on judge Walker’s part, gives him the authority to overrule the judge who carefully listened to both sides & all the evidence, when he ruled for the 5-day extension. It’s public record, what’s been going on with the faulty machines in Palm Beach county.

The Palm Beach Supervisor of Elections stated (above), that she only needed a few more hours to complete the recount, and yet federal judge Mark Walker today ruled he saw no evidence the recount could be completed! Walker is clearly the fixed federal judge I mentioned the Republicans were searching for yesterday. It makes you wonder, how Bill Nelson and his lawyers could lose this one?

Palm Beach has set aside $11 million to buy new equipment, but Bucher said the county hasn’t yet purchased the machines because the state still needs to resolve a question about voting system compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The current Palm Beach county budget is a little over $13 million, to be ADA compliant by 2020. The $11 million upgrades Palm Beach county was offered by Rick Scott’s governor’s office for 2018, were not ADA compliant.

Bill Nelson has vowed to fight for an extension in the hand recount. Notice how he’s willing to fight for the <1%, while abandoning the 99+% of the Palm Beach county voters, who were disenfranchised by a technicality. Whatever deal Nelson & the Trump team worked out in secret, and executed with federal judge Mark Walker, is now being manipulated in the Florida recount numbers, which the public has been kept from seeing. That is the only rational reason for both parties & the media being mum on the recount returns.

Online, “Florida Recounts” is back to the top of the RealClearPolitics newsfeed, as of this update. Gosh, I’ve been right with so many predictions, I’ve lost count. That happens in Florida.

Update: Friday 16 Nov 2018 07:20 AM EST

These midterm campaigns went down as the most expensive elections in U.S. history, with over $5.25 billion spent on advertising, up 78% from the last midterm elections in 2014, according to a Kantar Media analysis released on Thursday. Spending was 20% higher than the 2016 presidential election, which is unprecedented.

And what did it yield? As we can see from Florida, it’s been all about manipulation & power politics. There is very little to add to the discussion at this juncture. It’s been over 17 hours since the recount totals were delivered, and the people of Florida still know next-to-nothing as to their results, or what’s going on. On election night, when the polls close, returns are immediately reported by the media as they come in. As for this recount, it’s a veil of secrecy. It contents are held & shaped by the masters-of-puppets, and then deliberately dripped into the media for effect.

The only rational explanation for this behavior, is more behind-the-scenes vote rigging, this time with both parties involved. If I’m correct in my analysis, then Bill Nelson could possibly defeat Rick Scott for Senate, but Andrew Gillum will certainly come up short in the “recount” for governor. Cowardly Democrat Andrew Gillum has already polished his latest concession speech.

The Trump team is going to get what they want, as Republicans always do when it counts, in the corrupt two-party straitjacket. In the end, this is another victory for fascism, and another hard lesson for those who believe in democracy & the Democrats. When will people learn?

On election night November 6th, when the rigged returns began pouring in for Florida, it sent a signal across the nation. Whatever expectations for a “blue wave” were quickly dashed. That was the point, from a ruling class perspective. As stated before, Democrats would rather lose critical races (such as Florida’s governorship), than energize it’s left-leaning constituency to secure victory. It’s called “bipartisan compromise,” which it has nothing to do with defending the rights of Americans to vote, and have it count.

Friday 16 Nov 2018 11:16 AM EST

This Florida election & recount is a tough story to break, because there’s so much secrecy at the highest levels. To summarize, this is all about Trump 2020, and notice the Democrats are caving in, with possibly a secret deal to keep Bill Nelson in the Senate, at the expense of Andrew Gillum. The votes of Floridians are likely being “fixed” to reflect that political compromise, as this has been published.

I’ve made more than a few (mostly minor) mistakes, shooting around in the dark, but I’ve also scored numerous direct & indirect hits. This is why I’m being crushed by Google, Fakebook, and all the rest during this recount process. Or is it a coincidence, that new censorship tactics began a few days after the election, as the Florida recount became a serious story? That’s part of the deal being a Trotskyist dialectician, with all the blacklisting & misinformation online.

The Florida felon voter amendment that passed on Election Night, has been hailed as a progressive victory. That would be true, if Andrew Gillum became governor, which he didn’t, as Ron DeSantis has been declared the winner by machine recount.  Amendments are implemented by the governor, and since new governor Ron DeSantis will have no interest in allowing released felons to vote, this amendment will get bottled up in legislation somewhere, and die when no one is looking.

Conversely, the Florida amendment that now prohibits new casinos without voter approval, will be implemented no matter who is governor, since Disney funded the “Yes” campaign. Disney views casinos as an existential threat to their family-oriented theme parks, so there was major political ad spending, with murky casino moguls funding the “No” campaign.

And since the state of Florida has consistently proven that it doesn’t count all the votes on election day anyways, what does it matter?  It has just been reported in the Miami Herald, that Broward County finished it’s recount, but didn’t submit it’s total in time, so it doesn’t count. Hillsborough county (Tampa) didn’t make the deadline either, as the supervisor didn’t know why staffers came up with an 846-vote deficit. This is a lesson in how elections & laws are bought & enforced in Florida.

Noon Update: 16 Nov 2018 12:01 PM EST

The governor’s race recount numbers are finally up at on the Florida Division of Elections website:

DeSantis / Nuñez REP   4,075,445     49.59%
Gillum / King DEM          4,041,762     49.18%

And for US senate:

Rick Scott REP         4,097,689       50.07%
Bill Nelson DEM        4,085,086       49.92%

For the record, it took far too long (with no explanation), for these results to be made public. For many Floridians, they have no validity. Broward missed the recount deadline by two minutes, allegedly due to the Supervisor of Elections’ unfamiliarity with the upload website. As we can see, US election politics kills democracy.

The machine “recount” for US Senate yielded a few more votes for Rick Scott, who will hang on and steal it. Whatever capitulations Bill Nelson and the Democrats made, it appears it wasn’t enough to secure his Senate seat.

Wouldn’t you love to be the recipient of such generosity, as the Republicans get every election from the Democrats? Nelson has been a top Dixie Democrat on the powerful Senate Intelligence Committee, so I’m sure he’ll find a soft landing in the public sector. They can always use a man like him. As for you & me, not so much.

Afternoon update: Friday 16 Nov 2018 02:20 PM EST

Everyone has their statements ready, and here we go. Rick Scott to the press, “Florida voters elected me as their next U.S. Senator and now the ballots have been counted twice. We need to put this election behind us, and it is time for Bill Nelson to respect the will of the voters and graciously bring this process to an end rather than proceed with yet another count of the votes – which will yield the same result, and bring more embarrassment to the state that we both love and have served.”

Provisional & military ballots have yet to be totaled, and again Rick Scott demands a concession before all the votes are counted. It’s also highly-questionable whether Broward, Palm Beach & Hillsborough county were counted correctly. Those three urban counties who lean heavily Democrat weren’t recounted, despite all the heroic efforts of election workers. According to high officials, those three densely-populated counties had to submit their original election night numbers as official on Thursday at 3:00 PM, for various red-tape reasons.

Whatever the number of provisional & military ballots, it’s not going to be enough to shift the ~12,600 vote lead that Rick Scott has maintained (actually widened) over Bill Nelson. The machine recount was Nelson’s only realistic hope, but the Republicans sabotaged it & covered their tracks. When the Democratic counties didn’t finish in time, that cut the number of outstanding ballots to <200,000, with a likely near-50/50 split in voting.

I’m recalling these following numbers from local news broadcast, a few days back. Last election there were ~116,000 military ballots requested for soldiers with a Florida residence. About 80,000 were mailed back. About 2,500 were rejected, mostly because they were postmarked too late. Approximately those same numbers were expected this time. There’s the ~5,000 signature match ballots that are being disputed. That’s not a large enough sample size to overcome Scott’s lead, and there can be no presumption that Florida voters vastly prefer such an unpopular senator as Bill Nelson.

Floridians who have been here before will tell you that “overvote” & “undervote” totals don’t go very far in either direction, as it’s highly subjective & contentious, and therefore tends to be conservative. There are ~93,000 votes that are being hand reviewed county courthouses statewide, and the deadline is noon Sunday. Everyone wants this over by now, and the skids have been greased. Election officials will work very hard at making the most accurate determination in this tiny sample of Florida’s stolen election. And then Rick Scott will be declared the winner.

Andrew Gillum backers & racialists would do well to notice who has been filing all the lawsuits for the Democrats during this recount period. It’s been Bill Nelson’s team. That allowed the Democrats to take control in Washington, instead of losing control in Florida. Andrew Gillum has mostly kept silent on voter manipulation, and obeyed on command when asked to by higher interests. For all his sacrifices to the party, Gillum still gets to be mayor of Tallahassee. It’s not the governor’s mansion, but it’s close enough for him.

Evening Update: Friday 16 Nov 2018  07:17 PM EST

The 93,000 Florida provisional ballots are almost all in the most-populated counties, which lean heavily Democrat. We’ve seen how the machine recount went in these counties. Expect more of that with the hand recount. If there was a way each ballot could be individually identified, then voters could be contacted, and the “overvote-undervote” issue could easily be resolved.

There’s surely enough uncounted votes to swing the Senate race, and probably enough to flip the governor race too. But it’s hard to prove “voter intent” on an anonymous ballot, and the Republicans have lawyers who are experts at raising doubt & running out the clock. Noon Sunday (not one second later), and all the votes are totaled & official.

Election results are certified on Tuesday, November 20, and the 2018 election will go into the books. The wrap-up: Republicans stole this, because they HAD to have it. The Democrats complied, because 1) they are cowards, and 2) they are traitors to the working class. The media did it’s job, so everyone can move on. Most Floridians look at this whole process with deep mistrust, and hardly care.

It time for me to call the Senate race for Rick Scott, and end this serial. I’ve tried to provide a Floridian’s perspective on who, how, where, when & why this election was stolen. I have no elite access, so I can only take it so far with online research & theory. The real ballot totals, and what’s up with the EVM’s are beyond my reach. This is where insiders need to look to discover elusive answers as to why Florida can’t count its votes. The travel logs of the principle players (and their associates) may also provide some clues as to who knew what, and when.

Here’s irony. Just the other day, another communications satellite was launched into space by NASA at Cape Canaveral. We have some of the most brilliant minds in the world, working here in the Sunshine State, yet counting votes accurately & openly remains elusive to our election process. Actually it’s not ironic at all. It’s all part of the capitalist political process, which is nothing but corruption. Politics & elections in Florida are a joke, because Washington & Wall Street are a joke. So are Hollywood, Silicon Valley, Madison Avenue, and all the networks. The Pentagon, CIA, FBI and all the rest are beyond a sick joke.

Living in Florida reflects & magnifies all this, and it is ironic. It’s like rain on a hurricane landfall day. It’s like going crazy, when you’re already nuts. It’s like having to summon the will to care, but don’t. It’s like getting back into Windows with AOL. It’s like losing at Lotto. It’s like a homeless Trump supporter, who Nazi salutes because he fights “commies.” It’s like when the music is over, but no one turns out the lights. It’s like that obnoxiously opinionated cabbie, who never shuts up & irritates everyone to no end, but makes us all sane again through reason & laughter.

Wrap-up Thoughts: Sat 17 Nov 2018 11:28 AM EST

I stopped by the Sanford Courthouse this morning after 9:00 AM, to satisfy my curiosity. The front door was locked, with a sign saying “Security guard on patrol.” I looked into the glass, spotted the security guard at his desk, and waved to him. He’s an old man, so I took a seat on nearby a bench. After 30 seconds or so, he cracks the door open, and I walk up and ask, “Are election officials still going over any ballots?”

He’s confused, and tries to direct me to the public library, which is where early voting took place, but no ballot counting. I explain to him, this courthouse is the Seminole county seat, where ballots can be contested and local elections are certified, so I ask him again, “Is there anything going on inside?” He says the building is empty, and looking around at the parking lots, anyone can see he’s telling the truth. I then asked him if there was ballot-counting activity in the building yesterday, which was Friday. He said, “No.”

The lots were packed full on Thursday afternoon, when I walked by. There were three-piece suits on cell phones all over the place, buttoning-up & screwing on their game faces. I called it out as a “shitshow” to several of them as I passed by. There was no use in trying to get into the Courthouse then, or ask too many questions, as the next door police station parking lots were full too.

So the Democrats rolled over, in the clover. Today, central Floridians care more about UCF (22-game unbeaten streak on the line, baby!) on ESPN Gameday this morning, than rigged elections for phony representatives. After the rolling weekend party ends with Monday Night Football, high officials will convene in Tallahassee on Tuesday at noon, to certify this election as legitimate.

Sanford, the place I live, has a long history as one of Florida’s oldest towns. After the Seminole, Creek & Cherokee Indians were wiped out, and moved onto a reservation in Oklahoma, in what is known in history as “The Trail of Tears,” Sanford was eventually founded on the southern shore of Lake Monroe, at the head of navigation on the St. Johns River. Sanford was incorporated in 1877, one year after the Reconstruction was ended, in another political compromise that has had lasting ramifications, as Jim Crow segregation was established in the South.

The St. John’s River is called “The Nile of the West,” because it flows north, emptying into the Atlantic Ocean at Jacksonville. The powerful underground aquifers and artesian springs provide plenty of water for citrus & produce, which were the primary industries of early Sanford. By 1886, Sanford was the hub of Florida’s only railroad line, which connected Jacksonville to Sanford/Orlando, all the way to Tampa & Miami.

Notice how this 19th-century transportation route, mimics today’s population & voting corridors in Florida. After World War II when muck farming came into advent, and growers moved to south Florida, Sanford declining economically, while sprawling, like much of Florida.

In Sanford’s early history, steamboats were used to bring goods up & down the St, John’s River. Poor African Americans, Jamaicans, Swedish immigrants and other ethnicities were brought in to outfit & captain the transport boats which moved goods to port. These workers were called “boat keys,” because the ran the boats which were the key to the supply chain. Boat keys is awkward to say, so it was slanged to bo’key or bokey, and it eventually applied to anyone who was working hard in Sanford. That local pride which runs up to today, also means living & playing hard in Sanford. That means this bokey is signing off on this story.

Over & Out

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Election Signals

This piece finishes with a loud & clear US midterm election wrap-up on Wednesday November 7, 2018.

Local beat: Donald Trump isn’t as popular in Florida as most would lead you to believe.

This is the result of a shooting at Volusia Republican Party headquarters in Daytona, FL in the wee hours of Monday October 29.

Four bullets were fired into the empty building. Police are looking for this vehicle, but I don’t think they’re going to find it.

International news: The murder of Jamal Khashoggi inside a Saudi consulate in Turkey on October 2, 2018 was a black operation whose aim was to silence a critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), ruler of Saudi Arabia.

All evidence points to the torture & murder of the journalist (also an intelligence asset) by a 15-member hit-team of Saudi agents who arrived on diplomatic passports and entered the consulate shortly before Khashoggi’s disappearance. Khashoggi was tortured, murdered, and then dismembered, apparently with a bone saw. After which, his remains were removed in pieces, with a doppelgänger (below) used as cover.

The Turkish government has all the audio & video, since it happened in an embassy on their soil. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has an axe to grind with the US, since a failed CIA-backed coup attempt in 2016. Turkish officials & media have slowly leaked this story into the media. By doing it piecemeal, the US government & House of Saud have been exposed at every step as shameless liars, apologizing repeatedly for this premeditated butchery of a political opponent. Jamal Khashoggi was employed by the Washington Post, which is another reason this story runs so deep.

US President Donald Trump first denied knowledge, then tried to deflect for the House of Saud, suggesting “rogue killers” murdered Khashoggi. But that gained little traction anywhere, and the fallout was increasing. Something needed to be done to remove this ugly incident from the headlines, as it was making both major parties in the US look bad. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was being referred to as “Mohammed Bone Saw” on the internet & social media. That’s a problem for the pseudo-left and the hard-liners of US imperialism.

National News: Luckily for both major political parties, the “pipe bomber attacks” came at the perfect time, and Jamal Khashoggi’s savage murder quickly became back-page news. It took an entire business week/media cycle (Monday October 22 to Friday October 26) for the pipe bomber drama to play out before our eyes. Cesar Sayoc (above), a homeless man living in a van plastered with right-wing stickers, was finally taken into custody in south Florida on Friday, presumably so we all could have a nice weekend.

The media reassured us that our leaders & country are safe, while the barbaric House of Saud is still a firm ally & valued business partner. It’s like they had this pipe-bomber patsy in their pocket the whole time, and waited until the moment they needed him most to bust him. The Democrats appear to be under terrorist attack, two weeks before the midterms. Who benefits?

The next day Saturday October 27, another hateful right-wing gun nut went into a synagogue in a Pittsburgh suburb, and screamed “All these Jews need to die,” before he started blasting. When it was over, eleven were dead, as the shooter surrender to police.

This atrocity was all-too real, and is to be condemned by anyone who thinks & feels. It is bipartisan capitalist rhetoric & nationalism that fuels this. People need to start organizing labor & neighborhood committees to protect themselves and their interests. The police & bourgeois politicians will only respond with more lies & violence directed at the working masses & discontented youth.

National-International News: Meanwhile, there’s a migrant caravan (above) that began in Central America, and is winding its way through Mexico, heading for the US border in Texas. Trump has made political hay of this by deploying 15,000 troops to “defend” the border. Refugees are fleeing violence sponsored by US puppet dictatorships & the drug cartels, which serve imperialism. Razor wire (below) is being placed at the US/Mexico border. Every bureaucrat is doing everything they can to inflame their “base.”

Political Op/Ed: My vote & political perspective in Florida is to abstain on November 6, 2018. Two rotten choices is no choice at all.

* The amendments (all 12 above) are meaningless, as whoever controls the machinery express their will over any that pass.

My political endorsement goes to Niles Niemuth & the Socialist Equality Party (SEP). Niles Niemuth is running for US Congress in Michigan’s 12th district, and represents the only socialist on the ballot in 2018. All information on his campaign and the SEP can be found at the World Socialist Web Site– wsws.org.

Niles Niemuth has also been endorsed by Christine Assange, the mother of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

Marijuana legalization is now a political issue, so here are my thoughts. Marijuana is a weed, so anyone can grow it. Capitalists are trying to monopolize the burgeoning market where it’s legal, and soon-to-be legal. But this will never happen, because marijuana is a weed and anyone can grow it.

Marijuana is a highly useful medicinal, and needs to be legal everywhere. The pharmaceuticals, tobacco, distilleries & breweries all oppose legal weed, along with the moralists and those in power. Marijuana legalization will only occur though revolutionary socialism.

A courageous San Francisco 49ers cheerleader (above) took a knee during the National Anthem, this past Thursday vs. the Oakland Raiders. Cheerleaders are usually considered as Barbie-doll types, so when they start doing stuff like this, it’s a major red flag for widespread political dissent.

Midterm Aftermath:  Wed 07 Nov 2018 09:33:50 AM EST

The Florida governor’s & senate races were stolen by the Republicans, again. Democrats Andrew Gillium for governor and incumbent Bill Nelson for Senate were leading their races by 4-5 percentage points in the latest pre-election polls (screenshots below), well outside the margin of error. Yet on November 6, they both lost by less than a percentage point, despite heavy voter turnout, where Florida voters said health care & immigration were the most important issues.

Almost 40% of registered voters in Florida voted early, which also leans strongly Democrat. But to no avail, as the Republicans control the voting machines. The mood, especially around the Ron DeSantis campaign was gloomy all day Tuesday, until just after the polls closed, when his fortunes then began to turn. Polling numbers which showed a significant lead for Gillum were soon reversed as DeSantis pressed on to victory. Florida Democrats have now lost three consecutive elections for governor by one percentage point, or so. So close, yet so far…

Watching the Florida numbers come in on Tuesday evening, was to witness complete manipulation. How else does one explain MSNBC (pro-Democrat) publishing a graphic (below) of an Andrew Gillum victory– on Monday night?!  Polling and any other sophisticated political science isn’t a reliable indicator for elections in Florida (and elsewhere), because the manipulation of votes is so endemic, that nothing else matters.

Final Note on Florida: Amendments were the most progressive items of the 2018 Florida ballot, and 11 out of 12 passed by the necessary 60%, including: banning off-shore oil drilling, no new casinos without voter approval, and non-violent felon voter restoration. Unfortunately it means nothing, as progressive amendments have been approved in the past, including funding for a statewide light rail system and medical marijuana. None were implemented.

As the “% in” crept up* in the key races to 90+% on our TV screens, reporters staged all over the state of Florida began the narrative that the late vote in the “Panhandle region” would be strong. These are mostly rural Red districts, but they have also been in the news lately. Hurricane Michael struck the region on October 10, 2018. Trump visited, and consulted with Rick Scott, while keeping DeSantis at a distance (pic below). Trump & Rick Scott have the area under FEMA lockdown, so I therefore suspect these districts were highly manipulated in favor of Republican candidates in a way that is very hard to prove. Maybe some day historians will get a look at the black boxes which contain all the votes, and see what happened.

* With electronic voting. how is it that Amendment results kept coming in at a slower pace than the Senate & Governor’s races? For instance, with vote totals displayed as “98% in” on Gillum/DeSantis and Scott/Nelson, most Florida amendments were reporting “63% in,” or such. The %-in numbers for every Florida amendment varied all night. Why did the election computers add the totals of certain amendments quicker than others?  One network nerd analyst actually explained how the “% in” could go over 100%.

Democrat Andrew Gillum conceded the gubernatorial race early, as he fell just short of a recount. Tough luck. Gillum has already been tabbed by liberal pundits as a “rising star” for 2020. Only the Democrats can turn a loser into a rising star. The Scott/Nelson Senate race is heading for a recount, which governor Rick Scott presides over. I expect more tough luck for the Dems there. This flaky vote counting has been going on out-in-the-open in Florida since Bush v Gore 2000.

None of these “elections” can be considered valid in any rational sense. Rick Scott & Ron DeSantis spent tens of millions of dollars, because they have it and they will do anything to win, which validates fixing the votes. That’s the political “logic.” New Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is a billionaire schmuck, who was carried to office by Rick Scott & Trump’s political fixers. CIA Democrat for US Congress Nancy Soderberg in district 6, was running ads in my area, which is WAY out of her district. Her right-wing campaign was repudiated by voters, and smashed by the Republican machinery. The only Democrat “victory” in Florida was Donna Shalala in winning a Florida Congressional seat in the Miami area.

Nationally, the Democrats took the House of Representatives as expected, but the Republicans seemingly won every key toss-up race for the Senate & state governor, including Missouri, North Dakota, Georgia, Indiana, Tennessee & Texas. Massive manipulation of voting on both sides, everywhere– especially online.

Disaster results for the Democrats, with what happened in Florida alone. Their #MeToo approach to the Kavanaugh Hearings was a calculated turn to the right, suppressing progressive momentum & energy for their party. Controlling the masses is more important than winning key races for the Democratic leadership. That’s the only rational explanation as to why they blunted their own victory. That’s the key political lesson.

See also:

Florida Gubernatorial Race & Trump 2020

Florida’s 2018 Primaries

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