Driverless Cars Within Five Years?

There is driving and then there is driving. I’m not a huge fan of driving myself to work or to the store or even the trips back and forth from Lawrenceville to Chattanooga to see family. If I had a driver to take care of those tasks for me I’d be happy as I can be.

However, I do driving when I’m just doing it for the trip. I love nothing better than driving through the mountains or taking a trip down the coast. I like driving when I’m taking country roads through small towns. There is something satisfying to driving when the destination is the least important part of the trip.

So I’m very enthused about the prospect of self driving cars but then this morning I read:

“That means there’s going to be no steering wheel. There’s going to be no gas pedal. There’s going to be no brake pedal,’’ he said. “If someone had told you 10 years ago, or even five years ago, that the C.E.O. of a major automaker American car company is going to be announcing the mass production of fully autonomous vehicles, they would have been called crazy or nuts or both.”

Source: Ford Promises Fleets of Driverless Cars Within Five Years – The New York Times

I read that and then I think of the ’87 Ford Bronco II that is currently my daily driver and it makes me wonder. Are we looking at the end of driving ourselves? For those daily trips I’m all excited about that but will the driverless cars force us to give up our road trips where driving is the main purpose of the trip? Can the two modes of driving co-exist?

Young voters prefer Johnson

The millennials are close to being as large of a population as the baby boomers and as we baby boomers continue to age and die out they will be the predominate demographic.  They will change the political landscape in the very near future.

Johnson wins 35 percent of young voters, Democrat Clinton comes in second at 30 percent, Green Party candidate Jill Stein gets 14 percent, and Trump only receives 12 percent.

Source: Here’s how much young voters like Gary Johnson more than Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump – Rare

Now if we could just persuade them to vote in November.

Even The New York Times is taking Gov. Gary Johnson seriously this time.

Glancing through the news this morning on Google and I noticed this article by The New York Times. While they aren’t giving Johnson any chance of becoming our next president they are giving him attention, mostly as a spoiler but for whom?

Spoiler or not the fact that he got this attention from the NYT speaks volumes for him. People reading the article who don’t know Johnson will likely give him a closer look and with this article pollsters are more likely to include him in their poll questions.

That last point is important. If he isn’t being asked about in the polls he can’t place in the polls. If he doesn’t place at 15% in the polls before the presidential debates he won’t be in them.

Mr. Johnson is at roughly 10 percent in recent polls, well above where he was in 2012. The question, of course, is whether it will have any impact.

Source: Can Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Nominee, Swing the Election? – The New York Times

So the NYT says he is at 10%, which is much better than the 8% that a friend of mine states but not as good as the 13% that Johnson claims after scoring that percentage in a CNN/ORC poll. He needs to move to 15% in several polls before the debates in September.

This is important for exposure and not just any exposure, he needs to be compared to both Trump and Clinton and seen as their peer in order to be taken seriously enough to be significant in the presidential race. Hopefully this article will be the first step to that.

The death of humor.

Donald Trump makes a joke, a surprisingly good joke, at the expense of the DNC and their nominee, Hillary Clinton. I immediately recognized his comment as humor. The DNC is claiming that Russia hacked their email server to advance Trump and Hillary has 30,000 missing emails which has been in the news lately.

So why does Trump have to explain his joke to the Democrats?

“Of course I’m being sarcastic,” Trump said in a Fox News interview that aired the day after his comments sparked a national furor. “You have 33,000 emails deleted, and the real problem is what was said on the emails from the Democratic National Convention.”

Source: Donald Trump: Russia hacking comments were ‘sarcastic’ – CNNPolitics.com

I don’t care much for Trump. He says a lot of stupid things that he’s serious about so there should be no lack of fodder for the Democrats to criticize so why do they show their lack of a sense of humor by attacking his joke? This only makes the Democrats criticizing him on this look bad.

Clinton is no criminal, just extremely careless.

FBI Director, James Comey, has declared it, Clinton isn’t a criminal, just extremely careless.

The FBI recommended Tuesday that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton should not face criminal charges over her use of private e-mail as secretary of state, even though she and aides were “extremely careless” in handling classified information.

Source: FBI: Clinton faces no charges over e-mail, but acted ‘carelessly’

I’m not sure which is worse for a presidential candidate, being a criminal or being careless.

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday, United States of America. You don’t look bad for being 240 years old. Okay, you are a little crochety but your heart seems to still be in the right place. You are a country founded on the idea that government is there to serve the people and not the other way around.

For the most part you’ve lived up to that idea. Oh, you had the rocky start of not really understanding that the idea of all men are created equal as being ALL men but you worked that out, eventually. You also had trouble understanding that the term “men” when used in an all encompassing manner is gender neutral. You’ve figured that out too.

And while there are still those trying their best to use you to shut out contrary opinions you still are pretty much siding with intellectual freedom, including freedom of religion.

Now if we could just get you to understand that economic freedom needs to be a part of the mixture.

Why This Sanders Supporter is Now Supporting The Libertarian

Most of you know that I have been a Bernie Sanders supporter. Most of you didn’t know I was also a John Kasich and Gary Johnson supporter. We have been in the primary season where we look at the crop of candidates among all parties and develop our list of who we would like to see run against each other for the presidency.

While we can only vote in one party’s primary that doesn’t prevent us from favoring candidates in the other parties to win that party’s nomination. Some will favor the weakest candidate in the opposing parties. I favor whoever I think would be the best president in each party.

Had Bernie Sanders won the Democratic nomination I was ready to support him all the way to the White House. I would have supported John Kasich had Bernie Sanders lost but he won. Neither happened so I’m supporting Gov. Gary Johnson.

I know it is hard for some of you to understand how I could go from supporting a democratic socialist to supporting a libertarian but aside from economics they are really very similar. Both support civil liberties, both support civil rights, both support reproduction rights, both support gun rights and both support staying out of wars, including deploying our military to places we have no business deploying and the so-called war on drugs. Both also support reasonable and compassionate immigration policies. All of that is important to me.

Economics? We have proof that both democratic socialism and capitalism work and they also work in mixed systems. Sanders wanted to see free college. Johnson wants to see an end to government backed student loans. Both plans will lower the cost of education to the students and drastically reduce student debt on graduation.

Sanders wants to see free medical care paid for by the government. Johnson wants to see less regulation on insurance companies to allow them to offer policies at lower cost with higher coverage which will allow more people to be insured.

This year, 2016, I have racked up around $100,000 in medical care. I’m insured and my out of pocket cost was $4,000. While free health care would have been great so was having insurance. I don’t care which system we use as long as it goes toward reducing money coming out of my pocket.

I love the idea of a lower tax burden on me but if I’m going to pay taxes I want it to be for services to me and others in the middle and lower classes. I don’t want my tax dollars going to bail out huge banks, oil companies or any other large corporation. Both Johnson and Sanders address that concern I have from different but workable directions.

Economics? There are numerous ways to level the economic playing field and I’m not really concerned with how we get to a fairer economic system as long as we get there. I am concerned about civil liberties just as Sanders and Johnson have both shown to be as concerned with as me.

Check out both Gary Johnson and his running mate, Bill Weld. I think if your concerns are with civil liberties you will like what they are saying. They are both incredibly experienced in successfully administering government.

Handing Trump The Election

I know a lot of people who are scared to death of a Trump presidency and who think Sanders should bow out of the race before the convention. Many wanted him to bow out before the California primaries. I suspect a few of these people just didn’t want the competition for Clinton or think that Sanders is damaging Clinton’s campaign to the point that Trump will win.

To that last point as long as Bernie isn’t lying about Hillary he’s not the one damaging her campaign. She is.

But there is a very good reason for Sanders to stay in the race until the convention. As T.A. Frank points out in this Vanity Fair article:

Every increase in delegates gives Bernie a stronger claim to being heard and appeased when it comes to what happens at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. He has already been granted the privilege of selecting five of the 15 members on the national convention drafting committee (not that it’s mollifying anyone at the moment).

So damaging Clinton or not Sanders needs to stay in until the convention or his “revolution” is still-born. And whether or not Sanders supporters turn their support to Clinton should Sanders lose the nomination isn’t something that is Sanders’ responsibility, it’s Clinton’s. No one is going to support someone they feel is unsupportable and many Sanders supports see Clinton as unsupportable.

Frank continues to point out:

This has created a curious state of play in which more centrist Hillary supporters seem to fear Trump a good deal more than the more leftist Bernie supporters do. Some of them probably feel like Susan Sarandon—that the status quo is so unacceptable that a Trump blowup has its merits. Others just resent having Trump held over the head like a stick, threatening to beat them into pro-Clinton solidarity.

Don’t assume that just because you see Clinton as a far less evil than Trump that Sanders supporters feel the same way. Heck, I don’t feel that way and if those two are the only choice I have no reason to vote because between the two, I don’t care!

Clinton predicted to beat Trump…because of economics

It’s probably right but I don’t think for the reason they think.

The reason a Democrat will win isn’t about polling or personalities, it’s about economics, says Moody’s. The economy is the top issue in just about every election. When the economy is doing well, the party currently in office usually wins again. When the economy is tanking, Americans vote for change.

Source: Clinton predicted to beat Trump…because of economics | Q13 FOX News

The economy is doing very well but the American middle class isn’t. It doesn’t matter how well our economy is doing in reality when the people can be convinced that it is awful.

Sacrificial Lamb?

She must have seen it coming. Bernie Sanders has declared war on Debbie Wasserman Schultz by backing her opponent in her congressional race and declaring that if he is declared the Democratic candidate for president he will strip DWS of her chairmanship.

It seems like he has convinced some establishment Democrats that removing her chairmanship is the only move to be made for party unity.

“There have been a lot of meetings over the past 48 hours about what color plate do we deliver Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s head on,” said one pro-Clinton Democratic senator.

Source: Dems discuss dropping Wasserman Schultz | TheHill

Surely she would know that her openly antagonistic actions toward the Sanders campaign would produce an enormous amount of blowback that would be all over her. Surely she would understand that the huge support Sanders was getting would translate into political klout.

One can only surmise that she is now the sacrificial lamb.

Hillary Clinton Thinks Successful Business People Could Make a Suitable Running Mate

Sec. Clinton has announced that she will include those outside of politics for a running mate.

In choosing a running mate, Mrs. Clinton said she would seek, above all, someone prepared to be president and “someone you can work with — someone you believe will be a good partner.”

Source: Hillary Clinton Warns Against Treating Donald Trump as ‘Normal’ Candidate – The New York Times

Someone like Lloyd Blankfein, perhaps?

Sanders isn’t a Democrat; What’s in Party Unity for him?

There is absolutely no reason for Sanders to sacrifice his goals to Democratic party unity, he isn’t a Democrat. I think he knew coming into this campaign that he would either become president or he would retire.

Leading Democrats are growing increasingly vocal in their concerns about the White House hopeful’s continued candidacy, and whether he and his legions of enthusiastic supporters ultimately will unite behind Hillary Clinton in a general election against Donald Trump.   For his part, Sanders has sharpened his critique of the party. He says it would be “sad and tragic” if Democrats don’t stop relying on big money, and he is assailing Clinton for her dependence on wealthy donors.

Source: Some fear Sanders won’t exit gracefully

So, what do they have to negotiate with? This is the only way they are going to have their peaceful convention, by coming to terms with Sanders’ terms. That’s the only way they are going to be able to keep the Sanders supporters in their corner is through negotiation. Loyalty will not come into play here.