Monday, May 23, 2016

Promoting Mobility

What is needed to get Americans literally moving.

Bernie The Bozo Banks On Stupidity

Bernie Sanders goes after banks - and continues to prove he has no clue how real economics works.

Second Thoughts About Gary Johnson

Gary Johnson is the Libertarian candidate for President. Two different looks at the candidate raise questions.

The NY Times Attack On Trump Blows Up

The NY Times launched a Clinton-esque hit piece on Donald Trump's attitudes toward women. That it is Clinton-esque makes it have zero credibility.

More Economic Stupidity

The Labor Department doesn't get it - employers are not supposed to be made to spend more money. The fact remains it doesn't work.

More Gig Economy Stupidity

Liz Warren is a dope and her attack on the gig economy shows it - with more ignorance about Austin's mistreatment of ride sharing companies.

Why Is There a Gender Pay Gap?

Why Is There a Gender Pay Gap?


"But this calculation is not just simplistic and misleading in its approach: It also masks the real cause of the pay disparity.

Believers in the gender wage gap often voice the common argument that women are punished for giving birth and discriminated against in the workforce because of the belief they are more interested in the mommy track than the career track. But if we look closer at the numbers, it turns out that's just not true. The pay disparity is mostly about college major and career choice, not family size."

Sunday, May 22, 2016

The Bad Of NASCAR Returns At Charlotte

After an eye-opening race at Dover NASCAR entered the All Star Race at Charlotte on an optimistic note, but when it was over the sport was left with confusion and head-shaking, for the All Star Race had some good moments but overall was confusing, poorly officiated, and ultimately less competitive than it needed to be.   And this constituted a return of the negativity that has plagued NASCAR for nearly two decades now, the sense it doesn't know what it is doing, with now direct driver input making it worse.

The All Star format was created by Brad Keselowski - two 50 lap segments and a thirteen-lap finish with mandatory stops under green.  It was ostensibly designed to stop sandbagging and also to prevent the field from spreading out, yet it left everyone confused - Tony Stewart was the most caustic critic after he crashed out, and it required a postrace presser from NASCAR's senior competition VP Scott Miller explaining, "We ran into an unexpected situation."

That NASCAR runs into unexpected situations has become something of a joke over the years and typifies the problem that this race in particular and the racing in general have basically been designed without any sensible goal.  Conspicuously missing as always is that no one seems to have put any thought into incentivizing going for the lead.   The early battle between Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick was the best racing all night, yet it wasn't really sustained even with the most ragged restart NASCAR has seen in years for the final segment - it was really a typical All Star Race, an exercise less in fighting for $1 million than a glorified test session for the 600.





The Kyle Larson-Chase Elliott preliminary race finish pretty much topped the rest of the day for competitive racing.


It was also the first go for NASCAR changes to reduce downforce, notably attacking chassis skew.  Writer Kristen Schneider called it "an A+" because "it was difficult to pass, creating tension" and she enthused for the Kyle Larson-Joey Logano showdown at the end  Making it difficult to pass has never been a formula for good racing and there was never any of the sustained combat up front witnessed at Dover - Larson shot to a two-second lead thanks to the fiasco of a restart but Logano ran him down and the two began racing each other but then Larson whacked the wall, ending the race as the fight for the win just got started.




Joey Logano sprang from the most ragged restart in years to run down Kyle Larson for the All Star Win


The 600 will be a better test there, but right now I wouldn't call these changes an A+ or close to that -  the race wasn't bereft of passing but NASCAR needs far more combat up front for an A+.


******


The momentum for the 600 presently favors the Penske Fords, much to the surprise perhaps of the JGR Toyotas that have been THE force in the series the last two seasons.    Hendrick Motorsports had an okay night with another rough outing for Chase Elliott, but is clearly behind JGR and perhaps behind Penske right now.    The team that had the quietest good night was the long-struggling Roush bunch,  getting both Trevor Bayne and Greg Biffle into the top ten. 

An uninspired night belonged to Stewart-Haas Racing, with just one car in the top ten.   Kevin Harvick once again frontran and did nothing else after leading 21 of the first 25 laps and then getting in the mess on the frontstretch; Tony Stewart crashed again, and Danica Patrick was subpar in the preliminary race, got voted into the All Star Race anyway, and was junk there as she's been pretty much everywhere.

Of the participants in the preliminary the only noteworthy production outside of the three cars that transferred came from Ryan Blaney, Aric Almirola, and AJ Allmendinger.   Austin Dillon in particular had an embarrassing finish after starting second. 


So wraps up the All Star Race, and now the real show - the 600 - beckons.






The Scam Of Scientism

Barack Obama likes to lecture about facts even though he never has any command of them. Instead he indulges in the fraud of scientism.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Sykes-Picot Agreement

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Sykes-Picot Agreement that drew modern Middle East borders. Robin Wright, a longtime Middle East writer with little credible insight on the region, has called it a curse. No, it isn't.

Iran Proves Again It Is The Enemy

Barack Obama lies to everyone - especially himself - about Iran.

The Bankrupcies Of Bernie And Jane Sanders

Bernie Sanders swiped campaign money for his wife Jane, and now Jane has presided over the bankruptcy of Burlington College.

The Pajama Boy White House

Barack Obama has presided over the destabilization of the world, and contribtors have been the class of lazy, entitled punks in charge of the White House.

Liveshot Gets Humiliated By Israel Again

Barack Obama and John Kerry got humiliated by Benjamin Netanyahu yet again.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Charlotte Now Beckons

With the eye-popping Mason-Dixon 400 NASCAR now heads to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the annual All Star Race, while the race to actually anticipate also hits on Friday in the Charlotte Truck 200.   Dover gave the sport a needed competitive boost and one also remembers the epic sidedraft war between Kasey Kahne and Erik Jones in last season's Truck 200.   So one enters the All Star Race with some sense of optimism about the competition.

The Dover race has gotten a lot of analysis, yet curiously little examination of what was its key development - how raceable the tire was.   The tire used was not particularly different from the tire used at Dover in previous season, but the way it raced was different.   The Kenseth-Larson-Elliott battle showcased a tire that was forgiving and as such eminently raceable; it also showed no particular fall-off, and by doing so illustrated why the tire should not have fall-off - by being sustainable it helped Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott fight Kenseth for the lead, fall back, then catch back up and attack again.

In short it raced more like a bias-ply tire than like the traditional stock car radial, notorious for requiring the driver to catch the car more than race it.   Rare have been the races in the radial era where the tire was as forgiving as a bias-ply.




The 1995 World 600 was one of the most competitive in history, and was a race where the tire was forgiving


The Charlotte period also comes with a new change to the downforce of the cars, centered on trailing arms and also toe alignment to prevent chassis "skew." No doubt some are emboldened about low downforce with the competitiveness of the Dover race, which makes overlooking the forgiveness of the tire more unwise - especially with a change in the Charlotte tire for the Cup cars designed for more grip - and hopefully more forgiveness.

It also overlooks the competitiveness of the Truck Series, which has higher downforce and substantially less horsepower to go with a tire that has repeatedly been more raceable.


******


The rumor that won't go away is that Chevrolet is working to put Kevin Harvick in a Hendrick Motorsports Chevy after 2016 to keep him out of a Ford when Stewart-Haas Racing.   Harvick has addressed the rumor and insists he's staying with SHR, but the fact this rumor refuses to go away indicates something behind the scenes is happening.  

And it's been awhile since poaching of drivers was a NASCAR issue - the most famous examples remain the Jeff Gordon to Hendrick change (1992) and Ford's grab of Ernie Irvan during 1993 following Davey Allison's death.  


It nonetheless awaits the coming two weekends at Charlotte.

Bernie And The Left's Love Of Violence

Bernie Sanders has implicitly endorsed violence by his supporters- the universal tactic of leftism from the start of the 20th century onward.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Bill Clinton's PLO State

Bill Clinton has been harassed by Bernie Sanders antisemites about not giving "a Palestinian state."  The reason is Islamo-Arab savages never wanted one - they want mass-murder, especially of Israel.

Also worth examining is the 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement and criticism of it.

Stockcar!






The rare documentary feature on the NASCAR Winston Cup Grand National series as of the 1976 season, the season whose stunning competition ignited national interest in the Grand National series.

Hillary Opposition to Iraq Surge Was Political

Former Defense Secretary Gates was "startled" that Hillary Milhous Clinton's opposition to the successful Iraq Surge was political.

"Senators have the luxury of taking positions because they have no responsibility," he noted.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Kenseth's Monster Win




When was the last time a driver won a Cup race on sheer guts?  Perhaps Ricky Rudd at the Old Dominion 500 at Martinsville in 1998, when he won despite losing power steering and being physically so worn out he could not even stand up in victory lane. 

Matt Kenseth's Mason-Dixon 400 win didn't have the physical pain of that 1998 race but it's been a very long time since a driver had to fight that hard to win a Dover race.    The final 20 laps became a stunning showdown as Kyle Larson, winless as a still-young gun, challenged Kenseth, in a clearly weaker car than Larson or that of Chase Elliott, this despite officially leading the final 47 laps.   Several times Larson stormed nose to nose with Kenseth but the low groove became like what Bristol showcased with little grip.  





In 2006 Matt Kenseth squared off in the final eighteen laps in a stunning side-by-side fight with Jeff Burton


This was the first time outside of Talladega that a Cup race saw a battle for the lead that lived up to Cup Racing's competitive legacy, and it was the most exciting Dover showdown since Jeff Burton waged an epic side-by-side fight with - irony of ironies today - Matt Kenseth.

Kyle Larson's runner-up finish is a needed boost for a team that has struggled to post strong finishes or even lead laps - this was only the second race all year Larson led.   Larson has been on the "next first winner" list long enough to be gathering some cobwebs; now he has to build on this.

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The eye-popping quality of the fight for the lead illustrates the highs and lows of Dover history, especially as a concrete track.   From its 1969 debut Dover Downs - built for auto racing and horse racing - has always been about endurance, and in the mid-1970s became known for comeback wins - in the 1975 Delaware 500 Richard Petty broke a tie rod with 150 laps to go but erased a six-lap deficit for the win; the next year Cale Yarborough overcame a lost lap on a pit penalty, made that up, then lost two laps with a loose coil wire; he erased that gap under green to overpower the Delaware 500; the ensuing May almost the same thing happened, as Cale was blackflagged for a loose bumper, then suffered another electrical problem, and from four laps down he stormed to the lead, slugged it out side by side with David Pearson for some ten straight laps, and won going away.

Spirited racing for first was no unknown at The Monster Mile, coming in Petty's 1979 Delaware 500 win over Donnie Allison and Cale, in Bobby Allison's Mason-Dixon 500 win over Darrell Waltrip in 1983, and Rusty Wallace over Ernie Irvan in the 1994 Mason-Dixon 500.







Dover in 1996 and 1999 saw spirited battles for the lead

Dover converted to concrete in 1995 after years of struggle with asphalt.   The competitiveness of the racing became more uneven with concrete but some spirited battles continued, notably in the 1996 Delaware 500 that was highlighted by numerous wrecks and numerous driver/crew chief brawls.    The 1999 Delaware race was only 400 miles, the races shortened in 1997, and it came during a run late that season where Goodyear's tire was changed and became strikingly more raceable.

Such quality of competition has been difficult to come by in general and for Dover to see a spirited battle for the lead again is encouraging overall.

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The reason for the switch to 400 miles was because 500 milers were lasting over four fours.   So much for time saved as this 2016 Mason-Dixon 400 lasted some four hours.    The big melee when Jimmie Johnson's transmission gacked on everyone ruined the day for the expected plethora of contenders and pretenders.   It also added more irony to Kenseth's win, as JGR teammates Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards were nowhere close to the win due to separate crashes.   It was also another lousy day for Dale Earnhardt Jr.  even as Hendrick teammates Elliott and Kasey Kahne posted superb finishes. 

Kevin Harvick won the pole by default and once again lived up to his reputation for frontrunning without sealing the deal, leading 117 laps and getting into the late melee and having fifteenth to show for it. 

For some guys it doesn't pay to get out of bed - Aric Almirola made up two laps and had nothing but another wrecked racecar (his second in three races and his third DNF in the last seven) and a broken finger for his day - and the broken finger is a fitting symbol of what looks to be a lost year for him.    Martin Truex had it better with a top-ten and two straight races going for the lead, so it would seem a corner has been turned with the #78.   Trevor Bayne finished in the top-ten as well and it was his third in the last five races.  

So it goes with the All-Star Race and yet another format change set to hit on Saturday - perhaps it can defy expectations the way Dover did.