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The odds are increasingly against Biden

The odds are increasingly against Biden

According to the polls, approximately 70 percent of voters think Biden to too old to serve a second term – with some 60 percent of Democrats expressing that opinion.  If the polling question simply asks if Biden should run again – without reference to age – the numbers are about the same.

This negative view of Biden is not only age, but also his handling of the job.  His overall favorable rating languishes between 35 and 40 percent.  It is even lower when it comes to the all-important issue of handling the economy.  In that, he trails Trump’s numbers.

For all the baggage piled on Trump’s back, the best Biden can do according to the polls is a tie at around 45 percent each.  That is the best Biden can do against a guy with four felony indictments based on 91 criminal charges … a loser in a sexual assault case … a loser in a number of fraud cases involving his corporation, foundation, and online university … and an offensive pugnacious personality?

There has to be a LOT of dislike and distrust with Biden to keep him even with Trump.  And it is not the power of the hardcore Trump supporters.  They are only a fraction of GOP voters – and an even smaller fraction of the general voting population.  For Trump to break even with Biden, he has to attract a lot of Republicans AND a lot of independents – and maybe even a few Democrats.

Imagine where Biden would be in the polls if Trump did not have so much baggage – or he is not the GOP candidate?  You can bet that savvy Democrat strategists ponder that – causing a lot of sleepless nights.

Biden and the Democrats have only three strategies for winning – demonize Trump, demonize Trump and demonize Trump.  They need to make more than half the voters fear and/or hate Trump more than they fear/or hate an enfeebled President – and the real possibility of Vice President Kamala Harris becoming President.  The fact that Trump is not trouncing Biden shows that the strategy is somewhat effective.

The Democrats best chance at keeping the White House would be to dump the Biden/Harris ticket for a new team.  That is not as far-fetched as it may seem.  There is definitely a significant advantage to incumbency – but not when the incumbent’s numbers are so catastrophically bad.

Biden has to rely on Trump hatred to win reelection because he does not have much else to offer voters.  With the one possible exception of abortion, Democrats have nothing to run on that appeals to a majority of voters.  Not the economy.  Not taxes.  Not the border.  Not crime. Not education.  Not cultural issues.  Thanks to the scandalous exposures (no pun intended) of his son, Hunter, Biden does not even own the “Mr. Clean” issue.

Not only is Biden in trouble today, but the trajectory also suggests he will not be better off in the future.  He cannot pull a Benjamin Button and reverse the aging process.  That will continue to physically and  mentally decline in the short run and the long run.  Attempting to conceal his conditions by staff and media allies is failing.

Comparing his age to Trump is a loser because for all his excessive weight and personal issues, Trump has better energy, vitality and mental acuity.  That is obvious — and is why Democrats hope to keep both Trump and Biden hunkered down and away from the campaign trail.

In terms of the issues that currently play against Biden, it does not appear that they will trend in Biden’s favor in the coming year.  Most economists are flying the warning flag on the future of the economy.  Inflation – at close to 4 percent — is still hitting the American people very hard.  It is likely that the Fed will again increase interest rates at some time in the future.  Biden will take no convincing action to secure the border.  Crime will continue to surge due to the growing drug problem and Democrat leniency on criminals.  The trend of Blacks and Hispanics moving to the GOP – or not voting – will likely continue.

Biden has painted himself in the corner with regard to Harris.  There can be no doubt that her presence on the ticket is a serious problem.  She is what makes Biden’s age and condition that much more of a concern.  On the other hand, dumping her could create an equally damaging outcome.

Democrats have a closing window on coming up with an alternative to Biden.  There are eager contenders in the wings who would likely beat Biden in a full-blown primary contest.  California Governor Gavin Newsom and Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker are two potential candidates with the gleam of the Oval Office in their eyes.

Biden’s path to a second term may not be the slam dunk Democrats suggest.  There was a time when conventional wisdom suggested that Trump had no chance to win the GOP presidential nomination.  As that prospect became more likely, convention wisdom was that Trump was a sure loser in the General Election.  What was once unthinkable – that Biden could lose to Trump in 2024—is entering the realm of possibility.

While Trump is buoyed by the growing belief that he can win a second term, Biden is being dragged down by a growing belief that he cannot win a second term.  Because of that – and because Democrats are always myopically focused on winning – I rate Biden’s current chance of being the Democrat standard bearer at 50/50 … or less.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. frank stetson

    Joe using Larry’s tagline….how odd. Since only Horist has a resume, one can only wonder. Not to mention that one of the supposed writers is a probable pseudonym for his real name: Khaaaaaaan!

    But congratulations PBP, you have made Media Bias which states:

    “Overall, we rate Punching Bag Post Right Biased based on story selection that aligns with the right. We also rate them Mixed for factual reporting due to a lack of transparency and poor sourcing.” Ouch, feel the burn, one click off EXTREME.

    But wait, there’s more…

    “Overall, we rate Punching Bag Post Right Biased based on story selection that aligns with the right. We also rate them Mixed for factual reporting due to a lack of transparency and poor sourcing.”

    Wow, nail that puppy against the wall of truth…

    In depth:

    “Funded by / Ownership
    The Punching Bag Post LLC is the state owner; however, Larry Horist is the founder and presumed owner. Revenue is derived through advertising.

    Analysis / Bias
    In review, the Punching Bag Post does not produce original news stories but rather summarizes existing stories and adds conservative commentary. For example, the story Biden Already Taking Credit for Trump Accomplishments does not utilize a single source. In another story, they promote unproven election fraud conspiracies such as this Dominion Voting System ‘Glitched’ in Favor of Biden. In general, the news reported is mixed factual and with a moderate right-leaning bias.

    Failed Fact Checks
    Punching Bag Post does not produce original content and, therefore, has not been fact-checked but is borderline on the questionable list.

    Overall, we rate Punching Bag Post Right Biased based on story selection that aligns with the right. We also rate them Mixed for factual reporting due to a lack of transparency and poor sourcing. This may change with more info. (D. Van Zandt 12/2/2016) Updated (09/01/2023)”

    Good summary!

    • Dan tyree

      The bad odds are where the cheaters are useful

    • larry Horist

      Frank Stetson … You rely on a bullcrap leftwing source. LOL The are very accurate, you say? First, they show me as founder and owner. Totally untrue. they say we do not publish original content. Untrue. The site does both original and analysis. And when you said there is “more” you repealed what you had just written. THAT is a short term memory problem. If you use a factchecker as a backup, they should be better on the facts. The only accuracy is that PBP is a conservative site. And THAT is why you are the constant critic — in addition to your own ego that makes you think you are doing something intelligent and important. LOL

      • frank stetson

        Larry Horist: You are a bullcrap rightwing source. LOL. They posted why they think you are of mixed accuracy due to lack of sourcing for which you get hit all the time. Especially you. They gave examples. They are spot on.

        They show you as owner because you are listed as owner in many places because you are too stupid to clean up your own mouse tracks. That’s on you. While you are at it, move headquarters from Finland to DeSantistan.

        “In review, the Punching Bag Post does not produce original news stories but rather summarizes existing stories and adds conservative commentary.” To wit you utter: “The site does both original and analysis.” I agree, but it’s a 90/10 sort of deal with ONLY YOU providing original reporting, commentary, and on analysis — everyone else does faulty analysis.

        The “more” was the entire passage, including the front end repeat you simp.

        No, trashing you is not important. It’s just fun and you make it so damned easy. It’s like Trump groping women: he just lets me.

        You know if you have a problem with the PBP spot-on media bias review, you can just contact them directly to voice your complaints and concerns. Unless you don’t care what a premier fact checker says about you. I would think that since this seems to be the only fact checker and media bias evaluator that even covers you, you would want to make them right. Then again, even though you tout being “news from a conservative perspective,” you are the most opaque news organization around. No resumes. Fake names for writers. Really shaky listings in any business or news aggregator — it’s as if you are ashamed of what you all do. It’s like you are afraid and in hiding. Joe even copied your tagline the other day, does he even really exist, or is that you too? Dempsey’s name might really be Khan, no, not a superior being from Startrek, just some illegal alien from Pakistan hiding from ICE. God only knows Alice’s credentials, perhaps she works with Stormy? At least that’s what I heard.

        I can easily use the same closing: “ And THAT is why you are the constant critic” of liberals ”— in addition to your own ego that makes you think you are doing something intelligent and important. LOL” At least I’m not a whore doing it for the money.

  2. Dennis McLain

    I will vote for Trump anyway, regardless, even if I have to write him in on the ticket. He did more for our country in his first year than ANYONE has done their whole term! Are people blind to what is going on against Trump in those phoney indictments? That is to halt him from campaigning and trying to make him lose voters. This is the same old crap they did in the other elections. The wrong people are being indicted. As for Governor Kemp, he had better start looking for a new job! Along with the DA in Georgia.

    • frank stetson

      How anyone can endorse a sexual abuser and digital rapist for President boggles the mind. Not to mention the various crimes and fines he has already paid; he’s facing over 90 counts and over 30 of those are felonies. You can claim witch hunt, political persecution, whatever, but the NY case already has a guilty verdict and jail time for Trump’s co-conspirator where Trump has been named for years as the other guilty party, and only escaped jail due to being President. He sent his co-conspirator back to jail for publishing a tell-all book naming him again as guilty. You may think that’s persecution but how can you avoid that he had the documents, he lied about it, he refused to give them back, and he kept whipping them out for strangers.

      But I will give you that and focus on his first year that you said was the best ever.

      Trump made the White House by luck, even he was surprised after declaring the election rigged for Hillary. More like rigged against Hillary by Trump and the Russians. Immediately the workings of government were anything but smooth. Setbacks, crippling defeats, like his claimed easy ObamaCare fix never materialized and were scrapped. He faced many controversies of his own making black marking his one-year in office as he attempted to reshape Washington and the Republican neo-nationalistic political landscape.

      During his first year, it’s the less-than-stellar record of legislative accomplishments that will be remembered. Trump cannot legislate, he cannot persuade others to legislate, he basically cannot govern, based on his results. Sure, you can point to “achievements” like a record-setting and record-breaking stock market (or credit Obama); more judicial appointments (partisan plus privilege of office plus McConnell blocking Obama appointments) than any president in current history; rolling back anything Obama ranging from environmental protections to criminal justice reform (even Biden did not cancel everything Trump the way Trump blindly destroyed anything Obama). He did more cancelling than creating and failed on his major promise: fix healthcare (after he claimed it was easy).

      To govern, he hired family members inexperienced and incompetent to the task, we have yet to know what Ivanka even did as we watched Jared set up to profit from the Saudi’s for billions. He retained his business pretending to allow the kids not in government to managed, opened up a hotel across the street where all comers lobbying Trump for consideration stayed at exorbitant prices, which he sold a few days after leaving office and DC. Matter of fact, even the government favored Trump facilities spending millions of taxpayer dollars to keep folks like the Secret Service in fine splendor as Trump profited personally. The optics of all this was very creepy, all modern Presidents put things like this in trust, never spend taxpayer money at their own businesses, much less favor them as a way of doing government business.

      And he went global unnerving NATO is his first, and last, Brussels visit blowing it up with his call for greater fiscal support, his continued support of incendiary and racist propaganda plus his proposed love of Putin for being a strong man, his bonding with Israel and the Saudis (later the Trump family would get Saudi billions in return). By most diplomatic standards, his first year in office is an unmitigated disaster with zero major legislation passed to change America.

      During his first year, for the man who self-proclaimed he hires only the best, and he knows the best; there were many Trump personnel indictments; guilty pleas; with an record-setting Executive Branch turnover rate as people either quit or went to jail awaiting the pardons. American leadership’s home and abroad were severely damaged in Trump’s first year, IMO. Obama got a Nobel, Trump got boo’s and convictions. Remember Flynn, Scaramouche, and others who served for minutes before resigning for cause? Before Trump, the world moved with America, they often followed our lead. With Trump, America went globally absent as our positions on climate change; global trade; Jerusalem, Iran and more had us standing alone in the darkness partnering instead with Putin, North Korea, Turkey, and a host of other rogue nations. . In the past, most often, America led the world. Where America moved, the world generally followed our leadership. Now, after Trump’s first year, not so much so and only after questioning anything US. In sum, it appears we were making American Great Again by stooping low instead of reaching high. Under Trump, we move alone instead of leading the world. He signed, 117 bills, none of which is considered major. His one major act, the tax cuts, came in December of 2017, basically at the last hour, and had zero effect on 2017.

      Perhaps you saw it differently, let us know what you think. Can you name any major legislation for example that passed in Trump, year one?

      • larry Horist

        Frank Stetson … zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz I hope I spelled that correctly.

        • frank stetson

          Horist: reader’s digest for the reading impaired: sexual abusing digital rapist for President.

    • Mike f

      Dennis-Speaking of blind-that would be you. Trump did more for the country (and the world), but it was all negative. Pulled out of the nuclear deal allowing Iran to continue their development of nuclear weapons-check. Pulled out of the Paris climate accord-check. Started trade wars with other countries that forced him to subsidize farmers so he wouldn’t lose their vote-check. Signed tax cut bill giving permanent tax reductions to business and the wealthy while allowing miserly cuts for middle/low income earners to sunset-cuts which produced no discernible increase in GNP, but did dramatically increase the deficit-check. Tried to build a wall that he advertised mexico would pay for, but was such a waste of money that he couldn’t get his Republican Congress to fund it-check. I would say you pretty much have the blinders on when it comes to trump’s alleged ‘accomplishments’…

      • Dan tyree

        Seriously frank? Russia again? That story has been blown away. And yes, Trump will be re-elected. So you a Mike f as in fag might as well suck it up

  3. frank stetson

    I can’t tell if he meant it or just can’t handle English as a primary language, but Dan the Douche just called me gay as in: ” So you a Mike f as in fag…..”

    And then he whines: “Seriously frank? Russia again? That story has been blown away,” indicating that he EVEN believes that Russia did not meddle in our elections, on behalf of and with acceptance from, Trump, as Mueller clearly stated in his report that Dan apparently cannot read. It’s sourced to the Mueller Report where you can find it starting on page 4 of the report.

    I wonder if he knows his last name is a gender-neutral androgenous name that refers to Tiree, a small island off the west coast of Scotland where the men wore skirts and nothing more. Or for an abbreviation for Tyrone, in US Black culture, which I tend to doubt for the Douche. He’s more gay than black.

    Open mouth, insert foot once again.

    • Dan tyree

      Yes. I know that my ancestors were born in Scotland. Actually one of them was 1st cousin to Robert the Bruce. Have done a lot of research and through DNA was also found to have African in our family. But that comes from my gggreat grandmother Also German and Native American

    • larry Horist

      Frank Stetson … You are completely confused on Dan’s comments. He was not addressing you and the “Seriously Frank?” was a reference ABOUT you .. not TO you. Geez! More and more, it appears that your trolley has gone off the track.

      • frank stetson

        It was “Seriously frank” so obviously not addressed to me but to how honest I am. Very frank. All the time.

        Unlike the guy with a face like a toad and a shit eating grin that frightens the small children away.

        Man, I love it when you take of the insult gloves old man. It’s Friday and I feel some Nigerian Jewish slams coming…..stop me Mama…..

  4. Darren

    If TRUMP is on the ticket, he will get my vote.
    If he is in a jail cell where Biden needed to be, I will right his name in.
    He will be president.
    OK, lets Not Make America Great Again.
    But we can start by MAKING AMERICA HONEST AGAIN!

    • Frank stetson

      Trump and honest in one statement. There’s a first only a Dan could muster.

      Did Trump buy Epstein’s island for a new hotel? Gonna call it Trumpedo Tower of Power?

      • Dan tyree

        I would gladly purchase Epstein’s island if I could afford it. It would be a great place to train militias

  5. frank stetson

    Horist alert: many words ahead, use caution, take detour, it may hurt you to read so much

    Actually, Republicans ruled the roost quite often before The Great Depression, which they caused, then the Democrats save the day, and begin to rule the roost on a regular basis. Before team Republican screwed up in such a stellar fashion, Democrats rarely could get it together to be elected to a unified control of Congress and the Executive Branch. You made that all possible with your mismanagement.

    You had your two years with Trump from 2017-2019; what great legislation you did pass not, your first signature legislation was a failure to replace ObamaCare and you took your toys from the sandbox and slunk home never to return. Then you spent most of your time bitching and destroyed all Obama EO’s and creating your own. That’s not legislating, that’s not leading. You did pass the Tax reform, the biggest tax cut in decades, putting an average of $1,200 in each peasant’s pocket and actually raising taxes on many in the Northeast because we have high State Taxes and expensive properties — so we paid the price for that. Trump claimed it would put at least $4k in your pocket, he was off, as usual by a factor of four. It also slashed the top business tax rate from 35% to 21% creating an instant profit. All of this resulted in Trump owning 30% of the entire, existing, national debt running up the highest deficits and debt ever seen in America. No wonder you felt good with your pissant $1,200 while businesses made the real money, on you, on America.

    Trump also promised this all would deliver 4% GDP growth, the plan depended on it and Trump was certain it would deliver even more. He delivered less than 3%, the plan failed, he failed, and it was Atlantic City all over again where Trump makes the money, everyone else loses, and he skates town. There was no return to coal, there was no American factory resurgence, there was no increase in the nation’s product, there was just Trump’s hot air that you still believe. Even his great energy independence (which happened after the first two years), was due to the pandemic and lowered demand, not higher production levels, which Biden has surpassed Trump easily.

    Look at the numbers. Of course, you felt good for a few pieces of sliver. There was good reason to feel good. But it was borrowed money, borrowed time, and the inflation swallows came home to roost under Biden. Of course you felt good, you were lied to. And Biden got caught allowing you to feel even better (and worse). The numbers are there, you can see them if you look. Start with gpd growth, it’s the big one.

    Next — Biden’s first two years.

  6. frank stetson

    And now we had ours from 2020-2022 and we passed a lot of legislation, on a bipartisan basis, focusing on the lower and middle class Americans. Starting with the Infrastructure Bill where Tucson, LA, Stamford, Orlando/Tallahassee, Jackson/Lexington KY, New Orleans, Detroit, Minneapolis, KC, Victory NV, NH, OK, TX, VA, and WA, all got huge projects for roads, bridges, airports, totaling billions. Under Trump we got meeting announcements. Then the IRA badly named bill includes biggest climate change actions ever, lower healthcare and drug costs (a few like $35/m insulin) by extending and increasing ObamaCare, the largest gun safety act in decades at the federal level which includes a mental health component putting $10B into mental health and targeting guns (Trump quit, it was so hard), the chips and science act putting $40B in jumpstarting factories, also $140B in the DOE, NSF to incent high tech in America (Trump talked about factories, coal, and other apparent imaginary things). And for those who talk too much spending, Biden did this as he lowered the rate of increase in the debt (it’s a start). This is not fast money like Trump, but longer-term structural changes possible by real legislation and real investment. Law, not acts and EO’s. And yes, many of the benefits are subtle, will take time to accumulate, but Biden is trying to rebuild the middle class, create a foundation for the future, not just give it a quick Trump fix of cash.

    On healthcare: all vaccines covered under Medicare Part D are now completely free. The bill caps out-of-pocket spending on prescription drugs to $2,000 a year starting in 2025 for seniors with Medicare Part D prescription drug plans.
    It requires Medicare to negotiate the cost of 10 high-cost prescription drugs beginning in 2026, with additional drugs added in future years. I have DBII — two of the 10 targeted drugs will save me over $1,000 a year and were not scheduled to lose their patents for another decade although I have been paying through the nose, with no alternatives, for over a decade.

    On climate change: the largest-ever national investment in fighting climate change. The law is predicted to create up to 9 million jobs over the next decade while reducing premature deaths from air pollution and helping the US dramatically reduce climate change-causing emissions.

    The Inflation Reduction Act will accelerate private companies’ transition to clean energy technologies, expand domestic manufacturing of clean energy products, and boost American energy independence to make the country less reliant on foreign oil—all while making renewable energy products a financial winner for families. Here’s how: The Inflation Reduction Act extends and adopts hundreds of billions of dollars in new tax credits to incentivize industries and utilities to move toward solar, wind, hydropower, and nuclear power. Manufacturers could get subsidies for building electric vehicles (EVs) and renewable energy products, while utilities could get credits for choosing solar and wind energy over fossil fuel plants. Importantly, the law also provides $80 billion in financial rebates for millions of households to adopt those clean energy products, such as electric vehicles, solar panels, and more efficient heat pumps. If consumers claim all the subsidies offered in the law, they could save more than $1,800 on their annual energy bill on average, according to an analysis by Rewiring America, a climate analysis group. The organization also has a handy calculator to help you figure out which rebates and credits you’re eligible for.

    If you’re asking where the funding for these subsidies and the healthcare measures comes from, the answer is by imposing a minimum tax on large, tax-dodging corporations. Notably, the Inflation Reduction Act does NOT raise taxes on small businesses or Americans earning under $400,000 a year.

    On American factories, Biden targeted high tech like chips that strangled auto production under Trump in the pandemic. TSMC, the world’s biggest contract chipmaker from Taiwan, announced on Tuesday it will increase its investment in Arizona, where it is building a $12 billion chip facility, to $40 billion in order to build a second, even more advanced plant there. The chips will start rolling next year. Samsung is building a $17 billion plant in Texas, while top U.S. chipmaker Intel is spending at least $40 billion to build chip plants in Arizona and Ohio. There’s well over $200B being invested in US factories under Biden, they will be coming online in 2023 and 2024. That’s a lot of factory jobs that have already mushroomed under Biden.

    So, yes, the economy is uneven and economic infrastructure investments are not fast money and trickle up takes longer than trickle down, but it’s self-sustaining and expanding versus Trump’s flash-in-the-pan economics with no sustainable GDP growth. With your support, bipartisan support, Biden has laid the groundwork for a better future. Not just fast money, a few pieces of silver, but an investment In our future. The Democratic Way —- bipartisan and feeling free to steal any good idea you have like the Infrastructure and Health care tips.

    And yeah, I will vote for this well before I vote for a guy hell bent on revenge and retribution —- against people like me. You go for it though, if that’s what you really want.

    • spaceman spiff

      Frank, I don’t know how technologically informed you are. Your comments concerning how the Biden Administration has helped in Climate Change are at least sort of in the right direction. However, I worked as a Civil Engineer for over 40 years before retirement, and I have some concerns about how we can integrate new “clean” energy technology into the national power grid and wean us off of fossil fuels. Simply put, we need to develop the new technologies completely before we abandon fossil fuels totally. It’s great to talk about shutting down coal fired power plants and supplanting them with wind and solar. I salute that idea and am proud to live in Oklahoma where now at least 25% of our electricity comes from wind and solar and increasing every month. A lot more can be done, but efficiency of the systems needs to be enhanced A LOT before we can safely abandon the old ways. We had the chance to do it right decades ago when nuclear power was new and reactors were being built all over the world. But Nervous Nellies killed the nuclear power industry because of totally unfounded worries about accidents. There have only been two accidents which are Chernobyl and Fukushima. Chernobyl happened due to stupidity and Fukushima because of the worst earthquake in 900 years. And, at Fukushima, if the emergency generators had been 25 feet higher above sea level, the tsunami wouldn’t have knocked them out and the accident would not have occurred. And don’t try to push Three Mile Island at us. That was an INCIDENT which caused the plant to shut down, but that was mostly due to over-reaction to the incident. Very little radiation was released and the safety systems WORKED! Look at our own US Navy. For 6 decades we have had nuclear powered capital ships and now even small warships such as destroyers and destroyer escorts operate on nuclear power. How many accidents on Navy ships? I believe it is ZERO or maybe One. Can’t remember for sure if USS Scorpion or USS Thresher was a reactor problem or some other cause. But other than those two possibilities, there are NO problems with ship-sized reactors. Truly, when there were nuclear reactors being built all over, those idiots who were certain the sky was falling managed to torpedo a great idea. Thankfully, we may start getting town-sized reactors operating soon because of a company in Ohio starting to manufacture them in quantity. The safety record of the ship-sized reactors is stunningly good.
      As for the chance of a nuclear plant exploding with a nuclear blast; It can’t happen. In order to have a nuclear explosion, you have to create what is called a “critical mass” within microseconds and there must be an explosion to cause the mass to be slapped together PERFECTLY. Nuclear reactors don’t operate in a manner by which such an event could occur. The material used is not fissionable and it is quite diffuse when used. It is meant to be a controlled reaction and as long as safety systems work and coolants for the system are kept in the system, there is no danger of a serious problem. Yes, there have been incidents of coolants being blocked and near-melt-downs. But they were all contained except for the two accidents mentioned. Simply put; the safety systems WORK.
      Now, as for other sources of fossil-free power, I think hydro is a great idea but with the caveat that you have to consider what the pool for a large power dam will cover. Is it worth the loss of good farm land or cultural treasures to get a hydro dam built? For wind and solar, the technology is getting better and better and efficiencies are definitely going in the right direction. However, before totally cutting the strings on coal, gas, and diesel powered plants you MUST have a reliable source of power to replace them. The switchover has to be made intelligently and AFTER the technology is solid before we can switch over. AOC and other Green wonks need to realize that putting a deadline on it is not terribly productive. Having worked as long as I did as an engineer, I know that you can’t walk into work and declare, “Today, I’m going to be brilliant and solve the problem of clean energy!” While there have been plenty of “AHA!!!” moments in invention history, they cannot be forced. Setting deadlines simply puts unrealistic additional pressure on engineers and scientists to produce something better “by the numbers”. And there is also the Not In My Back Yard bunch. As a For Instance, a coastal project to erect a large wind farm just off the New England coast is undergoing resistance because a significant group of locals is objecting to losing their nice view. Do you want the electricity generated by these wind turbines or not? Quit yer B____ ing. Either get on board green energy and take a small negative or stop complaining about fossil fuels. Your choice.
      I fully support changes in our consumption toward green energy. It only makes sense. Why? Because most fossil fuels are FINITE resources. Crude oil will one day run out. Coal is abundant, but dirty as Hell. Besides, coal has other uses than power generation. Natural gas is also finite. Corn-based ethanol uses more energy to produce than it provides. Frank, I READ THE REPORTS and analysis of this stuff. Ethanol is a sop. It makes the tree huggers and environmentalists get warm fuzzies, but it doesn’t truly help us. Hydrogen fuel is great but quite power-hungry to produce. And trying to fly an airplane on electric motors is still a while away. (They ARE doing some serious development on electric turboprops and such, and it’s going well. But it’s not here yet.)
      I’d personally hate to see my local coal plant get shut down. This summer, temperatures in my area have been in the 100+ F range since July. I’d literally die if I had to experience those temperatures without A/C. So would a lot of other folks. Right now it’s about 68 degrees outside at 10 AM and is considered a cold front. SW Oklahoma is pretty hot in summer. To call this a cold front is our local humor.
      So, before we cast stones at fossil fuel plants, let’s consider what would happen if they all immediately shut down. Chaos and disaster, and the end of life as we know it. Back to the 12th Century. Is this what we really want?

      • larry Horist

        spaceman spiff … While this is off the subject of my commentary thanks to Frank’s obsession to rant all over the place, your points were an excellent summary of the complexity of the energy situation. Converting to non-fossil fuel is a good thing in the long run for environmental reasons and fossil fuel is limited. When I was working on the issue at the White House, the experts were concerned that we would have fossil fuel shortages by 2000. That did not happen partly do to fracking. Good analysis based on facts … not politics..

        • frank stetson

          What a bunch of Horist shit.

          You say Biden’s numbers are shit.

          I print Biden’s real numbers, you say it’s a rant and I am off-topic.

          Isn’t it Spiff that’s off topic?

          And the only difference is that you are kissing his ass while you have an obsessive hatred of Frank Stetson? You just keep talking about me. Over and over. Talk to the hand. Or Dan the Kilt Man, he likes that stuff.

  7. frank stetson

    spaceman….. even though you are just a civil engineer…..just kidding…..but I lived, worked and managed engineers all my life and not a civil one amongst them….. ok, enough engineering jokes….I am a lake person and one year “they,” the Army Civil Engineers told us that the record-low pond level would not be restored for a decade. The next year they were telling us how long it would take to lower the lake to the normal pond level….. “They” told us the Lake was dead in the 70’s, dead as in not coming back. In a decade, it was safe to swim I used to tell folks the story and ask them if they would like to see the “engineering” behind it. Then I would walk them into the Trump top secret documents room and flush the toilet. That’s it! We call it Niagara Falls. Then, slowly I turned….. Point is that “they” try, they take their best guess based on info at the time, they make mistakes, new info comes in, Horist happens. Who is “they” anyways…. Really doubt there’s too much politicking, lying, or conning going on, but every once in awhile…. Then there’s the crowd that makes money by lying. Much better that they put the fear of God in you, better margin in that.

    Dude, fact is I was just applauding Biden’s effort to invest in the notion of attacking climate change whether through cleaner energy or better insulated homes — all good in my book. FYI: I have no issue with nuclear, in moderation. And it’s not just energy products. There’s a guy who just invented a white paint that can LITERALLY change profile of global warming in a year. Check it out, he’s from Purdue, should be coming in a year or so. Much climate change can be affected by addressing our environment. Around 2005, I began a multi-year process that took almost 30% off my total energy profile. Hybrids instead of v8’s and turbo’s, new freezer, fridge, ac, and furnace. Renewable pellet stoves, attic insulation at double govt rqmts, solar skylights (really cool), new solar protect windows, solar hot water (better have kids to get to break-even), passive solar —-

    And yes, it takes time. Even more time under the likes of Trump who disinvests in clean and invests in coal and oil. Today, for energy, we are at 32% natural gas, Petroleum (crude oil and natural gas plant liquids): 28% Coal: 17.8% Renewable energy: 12.7%. Yet, natural gas is pretty recent and look at that. And if OK is at 25%, it’s ten points above average and I would bet still expanding. Solar itself is growing from .1% in 2010 to 5% today. Over 25% of all new energy is solar so the trend is accelerating. While CA takes the lead generating 30% of total, amazingly one of our biggest oil producers, Texas is not only in second place at 13% of total for all solar on the grid, but is number one in solar build-outs for the future. Turns out oil producers are becoming sun worshippers and Texas has a lot of sun and the easiest building code in the US.

    At this point, the future is clear, the direction is set, time is the only variable at this point, and as you note: integration is key but in this case, solved. We need to harden the grid against terrorist attack but the only think needed in implementation is lower cost which comes with volume and time. And removal of stupid red tape like the one that says I can produce what I use but not much more without becoming a power company. Bogus law that stops me from putting in ten acres of panels.

    But at 5% solar, not much to fear about speed. At 13% for renewable, it’s inevitable, but not a crushing pace to be fearful of….yet, but perhaps folks should prepare for your issues. Me, I would like to see hardening. Good for now, good for the future.

    Just one more: as to AOC, tree huggers, etc.; they are far left advocates for change no different than MTG and her crowd and a hell of a lot more polite. They hold no schedules we are accountable for that I know off. Spiff, does the IRA mandate a climate schedule or mandated goals? What happens if we fail?

    I think the IRA is a bunch of incentives to attack climate change. I think the estimated results are published, I like em, but that’s based on incentives being used. I like when government uses our money to incent us to do what we tell them we want to do but cannot afford to do ourselves, by our lonesome’s. Much of the progress I made was based on Obama energy incentives, his cash for clunkers, etc. It really helped me make up my mind to do what I targeted but just couldn’t pull the trigger.

    Biden took the same approach to get all those chip and high tech new factories built and being built. Incentives can be good things if most of us like the winners. Even better yet if there are no losers.

    Nope, I like the infrastructure bill, the IRA, gun laws, and the other stuff. And if he’s lowering the deficit that’s even better (but certainly not perfect enough) than the last guy who borrowed us into inflation and the shitter. If Biden gets a soft landing recession, that will be an economic first, IE miracle.

  8. spaceman spiff

    Frank, I’m amazed you took the time to answer me. And you’re not even being as snarky as you are with Horist. Yeah, I’m a civil engineer, even though retired, and I try to be civil to everyone, even YOU! In reading many a post by Horist, I don’t think I ever remember you giving him credit for anything other than breathing. But, I digress.
    On the subjects you mentioned in your reply, I am all for continued research on any viable clean energy source out there. I LOVE wind and solar, as they are about as clean as you can get. Lat week I drove past a brand-spanking-new solar power farm out around Sulphur, OK while on a visit to see my grandkids for the Labor Day weekend. It’s already about ten acres and there were a bunch of racks that appeared to be ready for more panels. Drive on, Dudes!
    Even in SW Oklahoma, where I live, there are at least five farms within 40 miles of here, and they are all carefully plotted in the overflight instructions issued at Altus AFB (where I used to work- I advised on the Air Operations Board) and on a trip last year on I-40 in the TX panhandle there is a strech of about 40 miles or so east of Amarillo just loaded with wind farms. It IS picking up here and there is plenty of space to expand.
    As for our buds Hoof-In-Mouth Joe and Donald Dumpty, I do wish that both of them would bow out and give us a real choice again on who to vote for. I get tired of going to the polling place and having to hold my nose as I choose. And I do tell that to the pollsters. I’m not alone in that idea, either. My sister up in Toledo is a died in the wool Democrat. Even she can’t stand Joe or his nitwit XO. God forbid Joe dies while there’s still the possibility she could end up Prez.
    GUN control — Not a great idea, but we do need some better limits. Better definition of existing laws and better defense of places that get hit, like schools. I have four grandkids still young enough for public schools and I’d have no problem being a volunteer security guard as long as I can pack a gun to shoot anybody who comes to shoot kids. It’s time to stop bellyaching about how the offenders were done wrong or some such BS, and defend the innocent as forcefully as an attacker will attack. I agree there is no need to have an M15A1 to hunt for deer. A .30-06 deer rifle is fine. Military weapons should stay military, and if somebody want the look of one, just make sure it can’t be made to fire full auto. I’d also recommend we ban semi-auto handguns from the public due to the chance of getting them full auto. Let us use .38 police special revolvers and such. Or a 12-gauge.
    As for attacking climate change, I think the best ideas are to do stuff like you suggest. Over the past 7 years, I’ve changed out my windows from casement to double-pane energy glass. I’ve redone my entire HVAC with new high-efficiency pulse gas furnace and new insulated ductwork, along with replacement of all attic insulation for doubled R-value newer blown-in stuff. Already feeling it in lower energy bills. In fact I have to put on a sweatshirt at times to keep warm in Summer when the AC gets going real good. New roof 7 years ago, etc. I recycle where I can, refilter city water with a Berkey system, and cut down on paper use. Just trying to do my part. And on the job, we had MANY initiatives we had to go by in construction and repair jobs in order to make stuff more sustainable and less needy of high energy cost. We spent millions at the base to get our power lines underground and it’s worked out very well. Much less ugly and much fewer power outages. Yeah, the wind DOES blow a lot here.
    I agree we need to get rid of wasteful power usage, increase gas mileage for vehicles, and make our roads, bridges, dams, airports, etc., more efficient and sustainable. I worked a long time on improving pavement infrastructure on Base and it’s working out well. Less asphalt and more concrete in pavements because asphalt wears out way faster in our climate. UV kills it faster than heck.
    As for the white paint thing, I’ve read about that and if it IS as advertised, I’d love to see it happen. If every roof in town was painted white or used white shingles or white metal roofing, it could save a TON on AC costs. Here, we have LOTS of days at 100+ and it’s just the way it is. 1998 and 2011 were terrible years for heat. In ’98 I was out playing golf most days after work and often in 110+. But I wasn’t 50 yet at the time. Now in my 70s gotta watch out and be wary of my heart conditions. Wait until cooler weather to play again.
    Yeah, there are simple things we can do, and I fully agree with the stuff about red tape. I had to deal with it for 40 years (35 of those in Govt employ) and know it’s a skull crusher at times. When I began in the AF on active duty (as an engineer) spent 80% or so of my time on actual design and acquisition on projects. By the time I retired 7 years ago, that percent was down to about 30-35%. The rest had to do with filling our forms, environmental impact statements, and other such “extras”. Discussed it with bosses more than once and was always told about a new requirement on each job that it was “only another 5 minutes for this” and told to go back to my engineering. The point I made about it was that for this one it was 5 minutes; for that one, 10more minutes, for the other one, 15 minutes, etc., etc. After not too long it really adds up to significant time spent on minutiae. Too much regulation, and much of it knee-jerk reactional nonsense that we could well do without. Such as how we had to make several projects out of a single one and separate the work on the project into separate work orders to cover each type of “real property” was affected by the work. One project thus could turn into 20. Then, came the requirement for all engineers to pass a course called Contracting 101, so we could possibly in the future be able to go cradle-to-grave on our projects without needing the base Contracting Squadron to do the business side of things. You had to pass the final exam on the course with 100%. That’s when I put in my papers to retire because my bullshit meter went from “idling nicely in first gear” to “overdrive”. Since then, I never looked back. Had an offer to continue on separate contract as a consultant, but decided not to. No need to go back to that rat race.
    As for my AOC comment, the Green Initiative calls for no fossil fuel use in 10 years. Can’t happen. Anyone with half a brain can tell that’s highly unrealistic. Cost would be astronomical, and I don’t think there are enough manufacturers in the entire world to supply even the USA with all the stuff we’d need to do that.
    Overall, I think we’re getting headed in the right direction but we need to keep chucking away at it and not stop. I think as much Nuclear power as we can get will be a good thing. Of course the only problem is spent fuel rods which is a problem which Cannot Go Away and we get again the Not in My Back Yard thing such as the problem with the choice of Yucca Flats as the repository. Even Way Out In The Boonies was unacceptable to some of the locals. So, another good idea gone to pot because of alarmists.
    BTW, the thing on the lake level. Designs of dams and drainage systems has to do with historical data on rainfall and storm intensity over as long a time as records can be found. We usually design stuff like that for a “20-Year Storm” defined as the maximum expected rainfall and intensity one would expect during a20-year period. This is not a guarantee that you won’t have a 500-Year storm event next year. These things happen. Army Corps of Engineers has to use such criteria for design as well as just about everyone else. It’s the best information we have to try to design things as well as we can. But Mother Nature can fool us. Take Fukushima… Worst earthquake in 900 years. Not really foreseeable. Just did the best they could.
    Thanks for the reply Frank. Nice discussion. Will read comments again in a day or so. I think for one time in many, we do agree on a lot of the stuff discussed here. Hope the country gets its collective head out of the ground sooner rather than later.

    • frank stetson

      spiff — now that’s a rant! not a screed but a rant! more curves than the Monaco Grand Pre course :>)

      since you were so nice, give me a bit and I will respond.

      basically, looks like political polar opposites came to the same conclusion re: personal investments in energy. go figure, it must be economics and science are not voo doo, but merely math that transcends the political spectrum. Too bad the fools in total climate change disbelief spend their time looking for a impolitically correct bud beer instead of saving money long-term by investing today — in their families.

      QUESTION: you did a lot of work, any of it use government incentives?

      nice rant. talk to ya.

      • spaceman spiff

        No government incentives. All out of the Spaceman’s pockets. The roof was insured against hail damage and we did get a lot here over the years. Try hailstones up to the size of grapefruit and imagine what it does to a shingle roof. The HVAC redo was OVERdue. Still had 1979 original ductwork and some of the original insulation in, too. All gone and replaced with new. Also my second new furnace and second new condenser. Efficiency is MUCH improved. WE engineers see the value in upgrading to at least better stuff if not the best. Should help with resale value of my son’s inheritance. I’d do solar if I could get someone to actually give me a price on it. Any ad you see gets you to a website where they want everything but a blood test to give you some sort of ballpark estimate. Somewhere between $3000 and $20K.
        I guess our latest correspondence tells me that even two guys like us with widely different political views can come to agreement on something that makes sense to any body with a brain. Too bad there’s all of the party-lining going on. BTW, I do like the idea of the infrastructure bill. God knows we need to upgrade all sorts of stuff starting with roads, dams, airports and electrical grids. Heavy emphasis on bridges, too. Need a lot of attention or we’ll get more of those things like the collapse in Minneapolis a couple years back. I see lots of stuff teetering on the edge. Too bad I’m so old.
        May the Good Lord smile on you. Keep them cards and letters coming…

        • frank stetson

          Thanks, and yes, the good Lord doth smile on me and I hope you as well. Of course, that goes with my “God has a miraculous sense of humor,” which I am getting a good shot of. Yes, spent my entire career with engineers, learned how to talk using a pencil and paper for diagrams at an early age :>) Found some really fun engineers, travelled the world, had a good time. True story — one guy, a wiz, father of a famous product line, I mean we are talking true genius type, pipe smoker. We had to tell him his shirt was glowing from fallen embers. Once he’s telling us how he and his wife, going to Broadway, were car jacked after being tagged on the bumper. He gets out and they steal the car while he’s talking to the other driver. We look at him and ask: where’s your wife? The funny part was he had to think about it.

          Yes, we can talk about many things, share many things in common, but your political DNA —- I have to walk on eggshells lest they hand me my head for anything climate. Maybe not you, but…. We have both walked this country forever and this is the first time I ever would ask about State political demographics before I move. It’s just weird. Not weirder than the 60’s, but getting really close. Not to mention that, unlike the 60’s, somehow, I have become the elite establishment. I did not change, the country did….

          I think you said Oklahoma, and being a Great Lakes person, I get it on the weather. I would have a really nice underground shelter. Had one at the lake house, staying above ground in NJ, but have a “weather room.” I have relatives in Arkansas, actually did a government homesteading land grant in the early 1900’s to get there. Probably the last piece… Letter said: “and he was the worst farmer I had ever seen…..” A couple stayed; most came back to the Scranton mines. The women ran back to get married.

          My home was built in 1866 so I have some special problems. I did retrofit for AC and even hid the second-floor air handler feeders, no drainpipe needed for that, thank God. The house has been hit by lightning numerous times, that’s another story. I have always burned wood so we always had that, and the house came with unworking solar hot water, fixed that and it’s been running over 30 years with one hot water tank replacement and a sensor. It’s a precursor to my oil hot water so I get a tank or two a day for free. Don’t do it unless you have lots of wash, long payback, but low operating cost. When we upgraded the AC, I went with high efficiency, got one of those direct-drive multi-speed handlers that we actually had to crank back upstairs as the towels were blowing like flags in the bathrooms. Because of the house age, I have weirdness like putting five times normal air out a couple of vents. Works well. Then the furnace upgrade I went old school/new school so it’s efficient with a few tricks but based on 1980’s core oil burner tech. It senses outside and adjusts; it senses load and adjusts. On a cold day with lots of heat blowing, my boiler temp can go up a lot. I have five zones so I can zone differences too. And fancy thermostats that sense outdoors, put out a pulse, and then determine how long before requested time for heat to start so it’s really efficient. One of the biggest savings was junking the upright freezer for a chest. Simple, cheap and made a difference. But the biggest was insulation and between finding the gaps and bringing the attic above specs, quality of life was improved which was even better than the savings. Also use direct vent for incoming air to pellets and furnace on insulated air lines. Had some issues at 0 degrees, but think I fixed that. Actually, removed three feet of insulation at the end of the run which seemed to fix it by extending furnace heat up the pipe a bit. Replaced all the old windows with exact replica slip ins. All wood too. Have seven-piece trim so the frame-to trim not upgraded insulation and can’t remove trim and expect it to go back. So on that one I had to basically caulk the hell out of the trim and the frame and call it a day. As we in the old house game say, well, there’s even a bigger hole somewhere else. Actually, I fight air intrusion more in the new build than the old.

          Here’s a funny part. Hot water solar really hot on sunny days. Hot water adjusted based on outside temp and inside load so really hot on cold days. I can jacuzzi on a sunny day for free at close to boiling from the tap. Same on cold days. On cloudy days, when the precursor tank is spent, and the temps outside are moderate, with no load inside —– my freakin jacuzzi is freezing cuz it’s delivering normal hot water temps…..

          Next I will detail how I paid for them with less…..

          • spaceman spiff

            I think I said earlier that I was originally born and raised in Toledo. Went back there when me and the current Mrs. had a so-called honeymoon there in May. We had temps in the 90s all week. When I was growing up in the 50s and 60s we NEVER had 90 degrees. Add the humidity and it’s a real bear. My Sis still lives there and says lots of 90s this summer. Anyway, I know the midwest. Had my first Air Force assignment at K.I. Sawyer AFB near Marquette in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Talk about great scenery, lotsa trees, gorgeous Lake Superior and pothole lakes around every corner. Fishing was fantastic even for a complete novice angler like me. Every game fish known to man. Winters were a booger there with lots of snow, about 200 inches yearly. Then, after my misadventure with the Seabees for tow years ended up at Grand Forks, ND for 3 years until I got out under an officer reduction plan. Don’t get me started on that. Lost my career on the altar of some nitwit’s political babblings. Got asked a couple times after that from old buds who I knew on active duty if i’d go back in uniform if asked. Yeah, I said, but with guarantees I could skip officer evaluations and be graded on being an engineer rather than a political officer. That’s what you need to advance in the armed forces… A good line of BS and lots of face time. You can be an absolutely gifted engineer, but miss promotion due to favoring the pilots in Line of the Air Force category. But, I again digress.
            Be seeing your stuff again, I’m sure and will not hesitate to fire a response at you from time to time. Have a good one…

  9. frank stetson

    Wow, I lived tween Erie and Buffalo, grew up in Syracuse, and 200 tops em all. Even tops Michigan. Talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time….. Superior is too cold for me, Erie is just right! When the lake died in the 70’s, I was still swimming in Canada at one of the last safe beaches. “My beach” is a 7 mile sand spit with a special lake popular growing at the dunes. Better than a NJ beach.

    I had a longish tome defining the deals I got but it got zapped in the upload, so better yet, reader’s digest.

    1. AC done under Bush I HCRA health care act due to family member needing to stay cool for medical purposes.
    2. Some windows and doors under Bush II energy program
    3. attic insulation, windows, doors, hybrid cars all under Obama energy program and cash for clunkers
    4. freezer under state programs, plus $50 to haul my old one away under electric company program
    5. washer/dryer/refrigerator under electric company progam

    Basically, about 10% off everything which makes the breakeven that much faster. Even after running all the AC ducts new, the Furnace was the biggest cost (after the cars), because needed new tank and much set up piping too. I don’t use a zone controller and multi-valve, but have five separate zone, separate pumps too. No real reason, I just didn’t want to redo the pipes even more extreme.

    Looking at Biden plan as we speak, but beyond an electric truck, don’t really need much now. Could replace front door, but trashing the last 1860’s door, two knuckle butt hinges to boot, should do it, but probably just can’t break my heart. I have spent man years making it tight, replacing the core of an old lock my self, and more.

    One funny one I forgot, was putting in the attic fan. At first, nothing happened. After studying, determined that my clapboard above the attic was not insulated, not caulked well, and basically the air was coming in the clapboard, taking a hard turn a foot in and going out the fan…… Re-engineered it with a four foot tunnel leading into the attic off the fan, plus opening two more vents in the gables. Now it works really well. Old houses…… Have a similar problem with cold spot in formal living room at floor but it’s probably caused from the attic running through the balloon construction with no fire blocks to stop it. It’s on the list, but need to lift that corner an replace the bottom of a post beginning to dry rot. It’s sounds harder than it is, but it is a big job needing some expert help. Figure two birds with one stone, and we turn done the heat out there in winter anyway. Unless it’s xmas and stocking opening time……

    Summing, beyond blatant air leaks in windows, doors, and other, IMO, the best return was attic insulation. My ac runs less, recovers faster. Same with heat and more assuredly use less fuel.

    At this point, most everything has paid for itself with the savings, but I feel for folks who have to decide tween a new windows and food. That’s where I hope the incentives have their biggest impact. Sure would be looking now at Biden’s given they might be gone by 2024.