Category: Elections

Trumpasm

Must be nice to get this excited about any politician;

Well, hell, let’s just lower the voting age to 10 and get it done. Must be the fabulous hair.

Call Me Mr. Frumpy

I know, another Trump post, I can’t help myself, he brings out the worse in me.

No doubt everyone has heard that Trump is skipping tomorrow night’s presidential debate because he is not up to tangling with a woman. He did not like Megyn Kelly in the last Fox sponsored debate asking him about his past comments denigrating women. Instead of answering the question like an adult he went on a jihad, both at the debate and later in the media, attacking Kelly, trying to get her suspended and fired. Not one to ever ever take the high road, he has continued slamming both Kelly and Foxnews as not being fair to him, even though Trump has more air time on Foxnews than all other candidates combined.

Here is my dilemma. In the last 40 years I have never sat out a presidential election. There has always been a candidate who was closer (sometimes marginally) to my political ideology then his opponent so it made sense for me to go to the polls and do my part. Dole, both Bush’s, Mccain and Romney, none gave me everything I wanted but all gave me a bit more than the other guy. And before yesterday I felt that I could hold my nose, admit that Trump was not even close to conservative, was arrogant/petulant/prone to allowing emotion over reason/not sufficiently versed in the mechanics of government, but could still pull the lever on him given the alternative. But given this last bit caviling, I am prepared to sit this one out.

I know the argument, staying home is a vote for Hillary, that is not motivating me. What is the real difference between Trump and Hillary anyway? Give me some actual policy differences. Yeah, yeah, it’s all about immigration. but here is the deal, all of Trump’s bold immigration moves require the approval of Congress and they are not going to stand idly by and allow Trump to deport 12 million illegals already here or ban ALL Muslims from entering the country, ain’t gonna happen.

So what else does he have? His “hire smart people” went right out the window for me with Katrina Pierson.

What I wanted from Trump was just a little humility, something that showed me he had the maturity and level headedness to be president. He could have deflected the Kelly thing so easily and turned it to his favor. Same thing with the National Review article, a better man could have addressed this, could have won them over. He needs them to win the election, he needs folks like me, he needs all those GOP voters that stayed home and did not support Romney, he needs the independents, but he is just too arrogant to unify or to be a conciliator.

Yeah, it’s early and he may yet become something that he is now not. But I doubt it.

Out Comes The Long Knives

This week has not been good for Donald Trump. Yeah, I know he still leads in the polls, still commands large audiences at his rallies and still controls the narrative, so far. On Thursday the National Review came out with their “Conservatives Against Trump” issue, 22 of their leading authors, a veritable who’s who of the nation’s top conservative political thinkers, all came out with one voice in calling out Trump as not conservative, not qualified to lead the nation, and not the guy many on the right think he is. You can read it here. All are short, concise and laser like in exposing the man behind the curtain (you can skip Glenn Beck, he is certifiable, but the rest are all interesting reads).

Then yesterday a Super Pac came out with this;

Straight from the horses mouth.

The last few days my head has been spinning. The usual right leaning sites I frequent have been populated by Trump supporters, folks who will defend him no matter what based mostly on the fact that he is not a politician and stands for the big eff you to the establishment. The NR piece was met with ,”We are not supposed to eat our own”, “That was then, Trump has evolved”, “He is not part of the establishment, he will shake things up?”, and my favorite ,”Those NR types are part of the problem, they are the establishment”, even though they are not funded by K St., provide conservative commentary, and have endorsed no other candidates.

Now this video comes out, and if anything it has “hardened Pharaoh’s heart”, it has increased their stridency and made them dig in their heels deeper. Loyalty is a wonderful thing, but loyalty should be questioned if what you are loyal to is not what you thought it was.

There are some issues, namely; the 2nd Amendment, partial birth abortion, eminent domain, prohibitive/onerous taxation, federal land management , that are beyond evolving, are immutable on the face, and can’t be compromised by any lover of liberty.

Given Trump’s high unfavorability rating and the fact many Republican voters will not support Trump and stay home (low GOP voter turnout doomed Romney) I have to conclude that Trump can not win in November. Sure, he can win the nomination, and since we don’t know who he will be running against (still waiting for the criminal indictment for Hillary) it could be close. But I’m betting it won’t be. I know we have some Trump supporters here, where am I going wrong?

Trump is a lot like Obama, both narcissistic to the point of nausea, and both haven’t a clue on how the government works.

Momma Grizzly, Why Are You Still In Iowa?

Trump got 2 endorsements the other day, both meh if you ask me. The Governor of Iowa slammed Ted Cruz because Ted was against Iowans wetting their beak in the form of ethanol subsidies. Then the big one (OK, not so big), Sarah Palin likes Trump “Going Rogue”. Curious endorsement I thought considering Palin, an original Tea Partyer, is at the forefront of conservative principals and whatever you might think of Trump, he is no conservative. From Planned Parenthood, abortion in general, eminent domain, guns, taxes, Trump is outside the conservative circle, looking in.

The last post we had about Palin a few years back (not sure who authored it) I voiced my admiration for Palin, her resilience in face of the adversity, and her character at how she viewed government, the role of government and the role of the citizen to check and limit that government at every turn. I also wished Palin would get out of public life (obviously not my call) make a boat load of cash in speaking gigs and endorsements, and ride into the sunset financially secure. she did not take my advice. She launched her own TV station, pay per view of course. I figured if folks were willing to pay for hearing her views, good on her for cashing in. But the station did not last long. Foxnews dumped her, much speculation as to why. Not going away quietly and thinking her endorsement would hold sway with some, She has now backed Trump.

But Palin’s private life is a bit of a mess. Daughter Bristol just looks at a man and she gets knocked up, despite her abstinence platform. And now her son Track got arrested for smacking his girlfriend around and playing with an AR-15 while snockered.

Today Palin went proactive, describing Track as a PTSD sufferer, yeah, she went there;

Some have accused Palin of blaming Obama for her son’s PTSD, I did not read it that way. This was a Trump rally and of course you have to go after the president, every rally involves going after the president. And even if Obama did respect the military (hahahahahahaha) his opinion has no bearing on the injuries sustained by soldiers in a combat zone, assuming that this diagnosis has any merit (Trac better get his ass to a medical professional immediately).

All this this begs the question, why is Sarah still in Iowa and not on a plane back home to be with her kid? Trump got his endorsement. Some of the more skeptical have opined that the deal maker brokered an endorsement from the Tea Party darling in exchange for a cabinet seat (Interior, Energy, take your pick). Family values and family loyalty is big with us knuckle dragging religion/gun clinging conservatives, I would expect her to be home with her family, not campaigning in Iowa.

I told you so….

Back in the old days of the antichrist Boosh, the left loved to tell us how evil his administration was for all sorts of things, but especially the cloak and dagger shit that the left always projects on their enemies. Of course, those of us that know the left better and realize that projection happens because the left is assuming others do whatever they do, are not surprised to find out, that in the age of Obama, the abuse of power is always directed at your allies and political enemies:

President Barack Obama announced two years ago he would curtail eavesdropping on friendly heads of state after the world learned the reach of long-secret U.S. surveillance programs.

Hah! Is this yet another Obama broken promise? As Glenn H. Reynolds so avidly points out: Obama’s promises all come with expiration dates and usually reflect exactly the opposite of what he plans to do. You pick the promise, and you will find that it was a boldfaced lie or only was kept unitl it became inconvenient for this administration to do so. Here is some juice shit that follows:

But behind the scenes, the White House decided to keep certain allies under close watch, current and former U.S. officials said. Topping the list was Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The U.S., pursuing a nuclear arms agreement with Iran at the time, captured communications between Mr. Netanyahu and his aides that inflamed mistrust between the two countries and planted a political minefield at home when Mr. Netanyahu later took his campaign against the deal to Capitol Hill.

How much do we want to bet that Iran – the bad guy in this stupid deal that is assured to cause us so much more pain in the future – never had anything compared to the level of scrutiny that this administration put on what they labeled a political enemy. And let us not forget, as the left constantly reminds us through word and deed, that the real enemy according to them never is the people that want to kill Americans or Jews and destroy the west in the process, but the political enemies of the left. And Nethanyahu sure as hell is a “grade A” enemy in the eyes if this pro-Islamic fundamentalism administration. With information like this coming out, what more proof do you need that to these scumbags it never really is about the interests of the American people, but always that of the political left? After all, it isn’t like Iran has read anything but acquiescence from this idiotic deal either.

The National Security Agency’s targeting of Israeli leaders and officials also swept up the contents of some of their private conversations with U.S. lawmakers and American-Jewish groups. That raised fears—an “Oh-s— moment,” one senior U.S. official said—that the executive branch would be accused of spying on Congress.

White House officials believed the intercepted information could be valuable to counter Mr. Netanyahu’s campaign. They also recognized that asking for it was politically risky. So, wary of a paper trail stemming from a request, the White House let the NSA decide what to share and what to withhold, officials said. “We didn’t say, ‘Do it,’ ” a senior U.S. official said. “We didn’t say, ‘Don’t do it.’ ”

Yeah, the bad guy according to the WH was that evil Netanyahu guy because he had the temerity to refuse to go along with an absolutely insane and stupid deal that clearly allows Iran to build nuclear weapons and continue to pursue the agenda of genocide against the Jews and the Great Satan, and not the Iranian madmen or the fucking idiots in the WH that conjured up this terrible deal. And am I alone in getting a whiff of the old Clintoneseque lawyerese? “We didn’t tell them to do it, but didn’t tell them not to do it and then share it with us either”, wink wink. Par for the course. From the whole sicking the IRS on political enemies scandal that they have been trying so hard, to squash to the now all but forgotten gun running scam into Mexico run by the DEA that they hoped would allow the massacre that would follow to be used to piss on the second amendment, to the plethora of insane foreign policy debacles that make the Carter years look awesome in contrast (the Arab Spring, Benghazi, Syria, ISIS, Turkey, the Russians, China, Iran, and so fucking on and on). this administration has been about profit for the left’s political machine at the expense of not just the American people, but the world at large. And they don’t even worry much that this agenda shines through, because after all, with the DOJ owned and doing their bidding and Congress neutered, who is going to really stand against them and their criminal and down right evil agenda?

Stepped-up NSA eavesdropping revealed to the White House how Mr. Netanyahu and his advisers had leaked details of the U.S.-Iran negotiations—learned through Israeli spying operations—to undermine the talks; coordinated talking points with Jewish-American groups against the deal; and asked undecided lawmakers what it would take to win their votes, according to current and former officials familiar with the intercepts.

Before former NSA contractor Edward Snowden exposed much of the agency’s spying operations in 2013, there was little worry in the administration about the monitoring of friendly heads of state because it was such a closely held secret. After the revelations and a White House review, Mr. Obama announced in a January 2014 speech he would curb such eavesdropping.

Anyone still doubt that Snowden is a fucking hero even if you disagree with how he did what he did? And ask yourself who paid for this absolutely egregious abuse of power. Has anyone in this administration been held accountable? Shit, Nixon wants to retract his resignation. After all, he got run out of town for what amounts to a joke compared to the laundry list of criminal activity engaged in and gotten away with by this administration. A complicit and cowed media goes a long way. Now if they had only managed to get their lie about Benghazi being about out of control social media to stick so they could control the internet as well, they would really be rocking the Kasbah.

In closed-door debate, the Obama administration weighed which allied leaders belonged on a so-called protected list, shielding them from NSA snooping. French President François Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other North Atlantic Treaty Organization leaders made the list, but the administration permitted the NSA to target the leaders’ top advisers, current and former U.S. officials said. Other allies were excluded from the protected list, including Recep Tayyip Erdogan, president of NATO ally Turkey, which allowed the NSA to spy on their communications at the discretion of top officials.

I think the WSJ is not being accurate here, because I remember how part of the Snowden release showed massive spying by the NSA on the Europeans, and especially the French and Germans, targeting the leadership specifically (google it, it is out there). I am betting the only people not eavesdropped on are the Iranians, Russians, and the Chinese, probably because all the assets where too busy looking at the political enemies of the administration and those radical right wing fanatics that won’t just let team Obama do their thing. Now for the doozy in the story:

Privately, Mr. Obama maintained the monitoring of Mr. Netanyahu on the grounds that it served a “compelling national security purpose,” according to current and former U.S. officials. Mr. Obama mentioned the exception in his speech but kept secret the leaders it would apply to.

Are we talking about that monitoring that they never really told the NSA to do, or not to do, here? Yeah, I thought so. It is quite obvious to me that Netanyahu was a threat to the security of the Obama Administration and its plans to fundamentally change America as promised, too. Of course I doubt that many people in America, including so many Jews that are bought and owned by the democratic party, realize what this revelation shows this administration really is about. Can you imagine Boosh or another republican doing something like this and getting away with it? Think hard on that people. That’s the litmus test really, and the proof that we are all being had by these crooks. Let’s put Hillary in the WH so this party can go on. On steroids.

Corrupt, incompetent, stupid, and evil liars, will just keep lying

At least some in the media are still pointing out how big of despicable entity Hilary Clinton is, but the majority of the DNC sycophants seem to be doing their best to ignore this umpteenth indication of how morally bankrupt, psychologically corrupt, and just down right despicable this woman is. Hillary, in an propaganda piece staged with her top media disciple, emphatically denied that she lied:

Liar, liar, pantsuit on fire: Hillary Clinton still insists she didn’t tell the grieving families of the Benghazi victims that an anti-Islam video was to blame.

Yet family members say she said just that, three days after the attack, at the Sept. 14, 2012, ceremony at Andrews Air Force Base.

George Stephanopoulos asked her Sunday if she’d told the victims it was about the film. Clinton gave a flat “no.”

She added: “I said very clearly there had been a terrorist group, uh, that had taken responsibility on Facebook, um . . .”

At least four family members disagree.

Tyrone Woods’ father said he hugged Clinton and shook her hand. Then “she said we are going to have the filmmaker arrested who was responsible for the death of my son . . . She said ‘the filmmaker who was responsible for the death of your son.’ ”

Sean Smith’s mother said Hillary is “absolutely lying . . . She said it was because of the video.” Smith’s uncle backs her up.

This woman, like practically every fucking leftist, is a fucking ghoul. Just like Obama , whom can’t wait to dance on the corpses of victims of insane killers or terrorists – including the corpses of children – and use those left grieving after every tragedy to push the left’s agenda to shit all over the second amendment and to disarm the populous so the left can do evil the shit it really wants to do without fear of serious reprisal, Hillary has no problem lying to victims of tragedy either. And then she also has the balls to compound on the lies by publically calling these people liars for pointing out she lied.

Glen Doherty’s sister agreed: “When I think back now to that day and what she knew, it shows me a lot about her character that she would choose in that moment to basically perpetuate what she knew was untrue.”

“What she knew” refers to Clinton’s words to daughter Chelsea the night of the assault and the next day to Egypt’s prime minister, which made it plain the secretary of state knew full well that a terror group had long planned the attack.

The lie’s even in her words at the Sept. 14 ceremony: “We’ve seen rage and violence directed at American embassies over an awful Internet video that we had nothing to do with.”

Just why the administration united around this lie is another editorial. The disgrace here is Clinton’s refusal to admit her role — even pushing the fib to “comfort” the bereaved.

This administration, and the then Secretary of State, Clinton, lie. That’s what they do best. They won the election in 2008 telling lies. They then proceeded to fuck us all over to the tune of over $1 trillion for a proculous package that helped nobody but the connected few, big democrat donors, and the campaign coffers of democrats. That was followed by government bailouts of entities too-big to fail to the tune of another $1 trillion dollars, which included amongst so many insane things screwing over everyone to pay back their union buddies or doubling down on the tax payer money pissed away keeping too-big-to-fail special interests that donate to democrats alive, all while acting though and blaming the previous guy for a crisis of their making.

But they didn’t stop there, oh no. They then straddled the American people with the most horrible piece of legislation ever passed – Obamacare – which required so much favor buying from party members, since they could only pass this horrendous “we must pass it first so you can see what is in it “ bill by any other means but a straight party line vote, that will cost us trillions as it destroys the most competent and effective healthcare system on this planet in record time (fuck you leftists that pretend the measure of a good healthcare system depends on it being peddled as being free, because only idiots ever thing government mismanaged bullshit passes as anything close to free).

And the list of other lies goes on and on. They have failed at everything. Fucking over the economy and lying about it, while pretending the recovery is just around the corner or has happened? Check. Pretending they were the superior statesmen and would fix everything that cowboy Boosh had done, only to then piss away victories, piss on and piss off our friends and allies, and then suck the cock of our enemies? Double check! Making a mockery of our laws and government by enforcing only the laws they like while committing crime after crime (IRS scandal, out of control DOJ, abuses of power on a scale that would make tyrants feel envy, and much more) to cover up their failures and nefarious activities? Triple check!

Benghazi was just one in the many chain of acts of incompetence and downright stupidity, practically every one of them done to line the pocket of a select few on the left, so we shouldn’t be surprised how bad it was handled. Shit, Obama had an election to win – at all costs –and he had just told the American people not 2 weeks before that he had al-Qaida on the run, so there was no way these hyenas were going to admit they were lying about al-Qaida and got caught with their pants down. Another lie, especially one that would allow them to justify a move to control and censor the alternative media that was constantly undermining the job so well done by their DNC agents in the LSM that were protecting these scumbags from themselves, seemed like the logical course of action. After all, you never let a crisis go by without using it to push something otherwise unpalatable and vile if you are a collectivist.

If we lived in a country of laws and had real leaders in power, this shit wouldn’t be allowed. Instead we have criminals running the show and their lackeys in the media covering for them. So the left now has staked their claim to the WH on another Obama: an immoral narcissist liar that feels they are owed the seat and that the ungrateful and unwashed masses should feel lucky to get the chance to vote for her.

Fuck the lot of you leftists. Especially those of you pretending that the people that are real problematic are the lightweights running from the opposite party. When it comes to being crooked, vile, and evil, you leftists make the fucking devil feel like he should be taking notes. A Clinton administration would be a continuation of the same abuses, lies, and despicable and conniving behaviors that have been the hallmark of the Obama administration, so I can see why the left thinks she is owed this job.

Obamacare did that..

Who woulda thunk that there would be rate hikes on health insurance caused by the stupidity of the progressive unicorn fart sniffing crowd that passed Obamacare so we could find what was in it? Well, some of us not only predicted this, but warned others this was the pan from the start:

Major insurers in some states are proposing hefty rate boosts for plans sold under the federal health law, setting the stage for an intense debate this summer over the law’s impact.

In New Mexico, market leader Health Care Service Corp. is asking for an average jump of 51.6% in premiums for 2016. The biggest insurer in Tennessee, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, has requested an average 36.3% increase. In Maryland, market leader CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield wants to raise rates 30.4% across its products.

And on and on. Because this thing wasn’t just flawed, but set up to fail and do exactly this to those of us that actually produce and pay for these things. Since Obamacare was passed, my rates have gone up over 30%. And I was not one of the people directly impacted by the individual mandate because I had an employer sponsored plan for which the marxists behind this debacle kept pushing out the date the rules would kick in for fear of the political damage it would cost. Well, the 2014 elections are done, and the chickens are coming home to roost.

And speaking of employers: my employer has done a lot of talking about how they will not stop offering healthcare because they care about employees. This much bloviating is a red flag to me. Too much effort when they could just not even bother. Someone in the industry will sooner than later drop company provided insurance, that’s because the penalty is cheaper than paying for the insurance, and every single company in the industry will follow suit because their competitiveness is impacted – by design, mind you – to dump everyone on the government rolls.

This thing was designed to destroy the worlds most effective and efficient healthcare system – based on the medical capability and access, and not on the bullshit stats progressives like to push such as who gets care at other people’s expense – so the left could pass a single payer system that would give them even more control over the life of the serfs under them. Of course, people that have already used other branches of the government to punish dissenters, political enemies, and anyone they feel disrespected them – from the IRS to the DOJ, or the EPA – would never decide to use healthcare as a weapon against their enemies when they control it.

The left will always resort to tyranny, because that’s the natural and logical conclusion of what they believe in always leads to. The over 100 million murdered and billions made to live in misery, in the name of social justice of all things, during the last century of progressive power has not served to dissuade low information, brain washed, mushy headed idiots from voting for the people preying on their jealousy and envy.

Don’t you know that we need to break a shit ton of eggs for this giant shit omelet they want to feed us, you evil individualist! Power to the nanny state! Get ready to pay a lot more, for less, and have to wait a long ass time to get whatever mediocre service you can get. And don’t you dare complain that you though they would bleed someone else to give the slackers more free shit in return for their votes. Sad to have to admit it, but the only reason I feel justice is happening is the army of idiots that pushed for this monstrosity and are now going to take it up the ass (not that there is anything wrong with that if you are into that).

The Senate finally passes a budget!

If I get this correctly, we finally have a republican controlled Senate for the first time in over 5 years passing a budget.

As was to be expected, the left, furious because this budget doesn’t continue the trend established under their control of massive deficit spending on the programs the left depends on to buy votes, resulted in democrats voting against the budget in both the House and Senate. Obama has also balked at any budget that doesn’t put the US in deeper debt to buy democrats more votes.

I still think this budget has not made deep enough cuts in the nanny state programs democrats buy votes from. And I think it is high time we see action from Congress to halt the current plan democrats have of allowing illegal aliens to bolster the army of dead voters and repeat voters democrats count on to win steal elections. This country now has over $18 trillion in debt, because of the left’s deficit spending agenda, a fake 5.5% unemployment that really is more like 15-20% if you count people that dropped off the roll count, a devastating blow to land on the productive sector as more Obamacare rules go into effect, abuses of power by government at all levels, and an army of illegals at a time where jobs are scarce and the ever shrinking pie needs to be split to buy more of their votes, all to pretend their policies have not devastated our economy.

Only a complete moron can’t see that the “Fundamentally changing America” promise by Obama has served to allow the rich to get richer, the poor to get even more money from the productive, the middle class to be decimated, and the things that made America successful to be done away with. The left’s dream of making America an impotent two-bit socialist nanny state, as punishment for the crime of exposing the crimes of communism and halting its cancerous growth, is closer than ever thanks to this Manchurian candidate and the party of the insane.

Oh, and the republicans are not without fault in this decline, but they can’t hold a candle to the destructive nature of the left. And anything to halt the left’s mad dash off the cliff should be viewed a s a victory for the American people that still care.

Cruz Is In, Why Should We Care?

Here’s the deal, I like Ted Cruz, personally, he is more like me than Obama. His conservative credentials are stellar, he is a government/spending reduction guy, big on national defense who (seemingly) understands the radical Islamist threat, understands that the world is a dangerous place made more dangerous by a limped dick American foreign presence, who genuinely believes in that “shinning city on a hill” image (not the imperialist America that causes more problems than it solves image of Obama) and who actually believes in The Constitution. Okay so far. And just yesterday he announced his candidacy for the 2016 presidential race. So why am I nonplussed by the whole affair?

Over at Hot Air there is a piece titled “9 Reasons Ted Cruz Is Exactly Like Barack Obama”. The author denies that he is trolling us, with the last sentence in the article, he exposes himself as exactly that. But the similarities are interesting.

Much has been made about how Cruz, Paul, and Rubio will have to answer the question of why Obama was considered inexperienced as a 1 term Senator, when each of them are similarly lacking. This criticism is valid, to a point. Clearly Obama’s problem is that he is Obama, would 8 years as a Senator change that? Would a couple of terms as governor of Illinois change his history of indoctrination, his America bad/fleece the rich/more government is always the answer/Constitution? We don’t need no stinking Constitution attitudes? Once a Marxist, always a Marxist, no matter how much time he served at the public trough.

But I still don’t like it, a one term Senator that has not done jack shit except vote “present” does not inspire confidence, not Obama and certainly not any of these 3. Could they make a good president? Sure, given the right moral grounding, the right understanding of where his loyalties (with the people, not his own aggrandizement) should be, the right understanding of his actual duties (and limitations) that The Constitution spells out, and with the right experts surrounding him providing advice and counsel.

Much will be made about Cruz’s religious convictions? That in itself is not a problem for me. Bush the younger was equally religious, his problem was not his faith but his spending policies. Cruz will suffer because his socially conservative views (no gay marriage, no abortion-ever, immigration-send them all back where they came from) appeal to a smaller audience. I like the fact the he is an AGW skeptic, this too will come up in debates.

Probably the biggest reason for my apathy is that it is so early and we still have 2 more years of Obama agony. No way do I want to go through the endless debates that dragged on for decades (seemingly). That and a little voice in the back of my head that admits that the dems are sneakier, more polished, more corrupt, more willing to bring a gun to a knife fight. Any GOP candidate will be at a disadvantage, in contrast not only with the lying MSM, but with the uninformed voter.

At this point I think that Cruz is unelectable, but am willing to listen to a counter argument, any takers?