This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne (also known as Sam Minter). Comments here or emails to me at abulsme@abulsme.com are encouraged... or follow me on Twitter as @abulsme.

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Curmudgeon’s Corner: The Russia Trump Hour

This week on Curmudgeon’s Corner Sam and Ivan talk about… well… could it be anything else? Almost the whole show is on the many Trump-Russia developments from the last week. Developments in the Mike Flynn story. Trump talking about tapping conversations. Trump meets with Russians and says things that get him in trouble. Reports on Trump-Comey conversations. The Special Counsel. The continuing investigation. Talk of Impeachment and the 25th amendment. Basically all Trump this week. Except for a Wiki of the Day update.

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Show Details:

Recorded 2017-05-20
Length this week – 1:57:21

  • (0:00:54-0:14:08) But First
    • All Trump
    • Things not covered
    • Negative news tone
    • Wiki of the Day update
    • Alex interlude
  • (0:14:56-0:45:31) Trump-Russia Part 1
    • Ignored warnings about Flynn
    • Trump tapes?
    • Trump meeting with Russians
    • Trump is a moron
    • Fox effect
  • (0:46:36-1:25:09) Trump-Russia Part 2
    • Taking notes at meetings
    • Trump/Comey meetings
    • Coverup vs Crime
    • Special Council
    • Follow the money
    • McCarthy/Ryan on Trump/Russia
    • Kushner is a person of interest
    • Trump still likes Flynn
    • Russians bragging about Flynn
    • Who Trump people trust
  • (1:25:50-1:57:01) Removal Options
    • No President Hatch
    • Impeachment Route
    • 25th Amendment Route
    • What next?

 

The Curmudgeon’s Corner theme music is generously provided by Ray Lynch.

Our intro is “The Oh of Pleasure” (Amazon MP3 link)

Our outro is “Celestial Soda Pop” (Amazon MP3 link)

Both are from the album “Deep Breakfast” (iTunes link)

Please buy his music and support his GoFundMe.

Curmudgeon’s Corner: Digging A Hole

On this week’s Curmudgeon’s Corner Sam and Ivan spend most of their time on all of the events surrounding Donald Trump firing James Comey. That really is enough for a whole show! But they also talk a bit about bitcoin, Wiki of the Day, the travel ban court cases, and they respond to a listener’s comments on the healthcare debate. Then Sam’s son Alex comes to shut down the show.

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Show Details:

Recorded 2017-05-12
Length this week – 1:34:54

  • (0:00:15-0:21:11) But First
    • The Big News
    • Agenda
    • Digital Hoarding
    • Bitcoin
    • Wiki of the Day
  • (0:22:54-1:04:36) Crazy Trump of the Week
    • Comey Firing Logistics
    • Win-Win Scenario?
    • Trump’s Reason(s)
    • Trump’s surrogates
    • Trump’s NBC Interview
    • FBI Reaction
    • Investigation Next Steps
    • Trump making it worse
    • Reactions
  • (1:06:35-1:34:33) Immigration and Healthcare
    • Travel Ban Arguments
    • Our response to Bruce on Healthcare

 

The Curmudgeon’s Corner theme music is generously provided by Ray Lynch.

Our intro is “The Oh of Pleasure” (Amazon MP3 link)

Our outro is “Celestial Soda Pop” (Amazon MP3 link)

Both are from the album “Deep Breakfast” (iTunes link)

Please buy his music and support his GoFundMe.

Curmudgeon’s Corner: Count the Bits by Hand

This week on Curmudgeon’s Corner Sam and Ivan’s main topic is Trumpcare passing the House, the implications of that, and what comes next in the healthcare debate. But they spend plenty of time on other things too. From the latest book Sam has read, to Ivan changing data plans, Puerto Rican bankruptcy, Clinton on why she lost, violence on Facebook Live, and much more. Oh, and at the very end Sam reveals his new secret project.

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Show Details:

Recorded 2017-05-05
Length this week – 1:37:10

  • (0:00:12-0:17:53) But First
    • Agenda
    • Book: The Fellowship of the Rings (1954)
    • Mobile Data Plans
  • (0:18:32-0:54:16) Healthcare
    • House succeeded!
    • Voting for “something”
    • Big win for the R’s?
    • Counting the Losers
    • Preexisting Conditions
    • Other impacts
    • What will the Senate do?
    • Getting things done
  • (0:55:58-1:36:50) Lightning Round
    • Puerto Rico Bankruptcy
    • Violence on Facebook Live
    • Clinton on why she lost
    • Georgia 6 Runoff
    • Impact of Healthcare on 2018
    • Trump leaving the country
    • Bill O’Reilly and Fox News
    • Zuckerberg 2020? Others?
    • Budget Deal
    • Sleep Deprivation
    • Secret Project

 

The Curmudgeon’s Corner theme music is generously provided by Ray Lynch.

Our intro is “The Oh of Pleasure” (Amazon MP3 link)

Our outro is “Celestial Soda Pop” (Amazon MP3 link)

Both are from the album “Deep Breakfast” (iTunes link)

Please buy his music and support his GoFundMe.

Curmudgeon’s Corner: Squeaky Chair

This week on Curmudgeon’s Corner Sam and Ivan deviate from politics for a little while to talk some tech! Namely, Juicero, cord cutting, and Apple’s pro strategy. Of course after that they get back to the news and politics of the week… That would be Trump’s 100 day milestone, Trump’s tax plan, the budget deadline and Obama making money on speeches on the domestic side. Internationally they discuss tariffs on Canada, “The Wall”, and NAFTA. Along the way there are also some corrections, a milestone for this podcast, and Trump’s Big Red Button.

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Show Details:

Recorded 2017-04-28
Length this week – 1:52:35

  • 0:01:13-0:14:28 But First
    • Agenda
    • Corrections
    • Milestone
  • 0:15:08-0:55:28 Tech
    • Juciero
    • Cord Cutting Update
    • Apple Pro Strategy
  • 0:56:36-1:33:39 Domestic
    • 100 Days of Trump
    • Tax Plan
    • Budget Deadline
    • Obama Speeches
  • 1:34:55-1:52:14 International
    • Canadian Tariffs
    • The Wall
    • NAFTA
    • North Korea
    • Electoral Maps
    • Big Red Button

 

The Curmudgeon’s Corner theme music is generously provided by Ray Lynch.

Our intro is “The Oh of Pleasure” (Amazon MP3 link)

Our outro is “Celestial Soda Pop” (Amazon MP3 link)

Both are from the album “Deep Breakfast” (iTunes link)

Please buy his music and support his GoFundMe.

Curmudgeon’s Corner: Because We Just Can’t

On this week’s Curmudgeon’s Corner Ivan and Sam cover all sorts of developments, both foreign and domestic. From the latest events in Turkey, the UK, and North Korea to the latest with Trump-Russia, healthcare reform, tax reform, and the death penalty. Along the way they also touch on flight simulators, random trips, a band from the 70’s, some feedback, and more!

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Show Details:

Recorded 2017-04-21
Length this week – 1:43:44

  • (0:00:55-0:20:43) But First
    • Agenda
    • X-Plane
    • Movie: War Greatest Hits Live (2008)
    • Random Trips
  • (0:22:43-1:06:18) International
    • St. Petersburg
    • Axis of Adults
    • Approval Ratings
    • Turkey
    • United Kingdom
    • North Korea
    • Russians in Alaska?
    • Julian Assange
  • (1:07:39-1:35:09) Domestic
    • Trump Russia
    • Jason Chaffetz
    • Healthcare
    • Tax Reform
    • Death Penalty
  • (1:36:51-1:43:24) Not a Lightning Round
    • Feedback from Ed
    • Feedback from Jenn
    • Contact Info

 

The Curmudgeon’s Corner theme music is generously provided by Ray Lynch.

Our intro is “The Oh of Pleasure” (Amazon MP3 link)

Our outro is “Celestial Soda Pop” (Amazon MP3 link)

Both are from the album “Deep Breakfast” (iTunes link)

Please buy his music and support his GoFundMe.

Curmudgeon’s Corner: Clear Thoughted

This week on Curmudgeon’s Corner: WAR! PIVOT! LIGHTNING! More specifically, Sam and Ivan talk about the situations in Syria, Afghanistan, and North Korea… then they move on to Donald Trump’s changing positions on a number of issues, and what that means for both his supporters and opponents. Rounding out the show, bits about the guy pulled off the United plane, Wikileaks, planespotting, a movie Sam watched, the congressional special elections, and even more!

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Show Details:

Recorded 2017-04-15
Length this week – 2:06:12

  • (0:00:15-0:22:02) But First
    • Show Edits
    • Agenda
    • Ignored Topics
    • Reorgs and Layoffs
    • Movie: The Terminal (2004)
    • Planespotting
  • (0:22:40-0:59:46) WAR!
    • Legal Authority
    • Pictures of War Victims
    • Trump ignorance
    • Missing Volta?
    • North Korea Escalation
    • Spicer on Nazi Germany
    • What is a chemical weapon?
    • MOAB in Afghanistan
    • More on North Korea
  • (1:00:21-1:24:20) PIVOT!
    • List of Flip Flops
    • He is still Trump
    • Healthcare
    • Trump learning?
    • Difficulty Legislating
    • No agenda
    • Title origins
  • (1:26:02-2:05:53) LIGHTNING!
    • United troubles
    • Congressional special elections
    • Blackmailing Trump
    • CIA on Wikileaks
    • More ignored topics
    • Contact us

 

The Curmudgeon’s Corner theme music is generously provided by Ray Lynch.

Our intro is “The Oh of Pleasure” (Amazon MP3 link)

Our outro is “Celestial Soda Pop” (Amazon MP3 link)

Both are from the album “Deep Breakfast” (iTunes link)

Please buy his music and support his GoFundMe.

Curmudgeon’s Corner: Implosive Growth

This week on Curmudgeon’s Corner Ivan makes his triumphant return, once again joining Sam to talk about the issues of the day. The main topics this time: The healthcare debacle, the future Republican agenda, and the Gorsuch confirmation process. Rounding it out, a little discussion of the intersection of politics and ideology, fiscal responsibility, and Sam discusses a book he read. Fun stuff!

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Show Details:

Recorded 2017-03-29
Length this week – 1:44:02

  • (0:00:10-0:24:08) But First
  • (0:25:50-0:50:18) Healthcare Debacle
  • (0:51:38-1:29:01) The Republican Agenda
  • (1:30:04-1:43:42) Gorsuch Confirmation

 

The Curmudgeon’s Corner theme music is generously provided by Ray Lynch.

Our intro is “The Oh of Pleasure” (Amazon MP3 link)

Our outro is “Celestial Soda Pop” (Amazon MP3 link)

Both are from the album “Deep Breakfast” (iTunes link)

Please buy his music and support his GoFundMe.

Curmudgeon’s Corner: That list is big!

Once again Ed and Bruce join Sam on Curmudgeon’s Corner. This week we have both Trump and non-Trump topics! On the Trump side, with Ed: Trump/Russia, the healthcare debate, and America’s wars. On the non-Trump side, with Bruce: Hyperloop technology, old school retail, terrorism, and Internet privacy. And as an extra bonus, everybody talks about their favorite podcasts. Other than this one. This is of course everybody’s favorite podcast. That doesn’t have to be said.

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Show Details:

Recorded 2017-03-24
Length this week – 2:55:55

  • (0:00:10-0:06:04) Intro
    • Ivan still out
    • Agenda
  • (0:06:41-0:41:57) Ed from Pennsylvania Part 1
    • Fitness
    • Favorite Podcasts
    • Russia Stuff
  • (0:42:36-1:08:34) Ed from Pennsylvania Part 2
    • Healthcare
    • Distractions
    • Fighting the last war
  • (1:10:34-1:46:03) Bruce from Washington Part 1
    • Facebook Discussion
    • Small World!
    • TV Update
    • Favorite Podcasts
    • Hyperloop
    • Old School Retail
  • (1:47:18-2:19:56) Bruce from Washington Part 2
    • Last week’s guilt
    • London attack and terrorism
    • US making things worse
    • Alex Interlude
    • Internet Privacy
  • (2:21:17-2:55:16) Sam on Podcasts
    • Favorite podcasts with Alex help
    • The rest of the favorites on my own
    • News update podcasts

 

The Curmudgeon’s Corner theme music is generously provided by Ray Lynch.

Our intro is “The Oh of Pleasure” (Amazon MP3 link)

Our outro is “Celestial Soda Pop” (Amazon MP3 link)

Both are from the album “Deep Breakfast” (iTunes link)

Please buy his music and support his GoFundMe.

A look at Trump favorability vs job approval

With all the hype today about the latest Gallup poll showing Trump’s job approval rating hitting a new low, I thought I’d look at the polls a little further. First of all, the usual advice…  never look at single polls, look at averages. So look at pollster.com job approval trendlines rather than just looking at the Gallup trend. Also though, I’ve been looking at favorability trendlines as well as job approval, because it goes back prior to Inauguration Day. And in both cases, I prefer looking at the “net” numbers (positive ratings minus negative ratings). So time to make my own graphs based on Pollster’s trend lines:

I’ve gone all the way back to the beginning of October to show the last inflection point prior to the election. Trump’s favorability reversed direction and started improving around the middle of October after bottoming out at -25.4%. (Bottoming out for that time period anyway, he was worse than -30% at a couple times prior to winning the nomination.) Roughly speaking this last pre-election reversal came somewhere between the 2nd and 3rd debate.

Then after he won the election the improvement in his favorability accelerated dramatically, moving to by far the best levels he had ever seen. Presumably this comes from people just feeling more positively about him simply because he won the election. Since December 1st, Trump’s net favorability has stayed in a very narrow 1.8% band from -5.6% at the best, to -7.4% at the worst. For all intents and purposes, Trump’s favorability has been flat for over three months now. Now, it has never been positive, but it has not been getting worse for Trump…  or better. Just flat.

As of inauguration day though, there was an additional measure. Job Approval. This actually started out positive, with more people approving of Trump’s performance in the job than disapproving. But this didn’t last long. Aside from a slight bump toward the end of February, the trend has been down. The longer Trump has been President, the lower his net job approval is going. It will be interesting to see how far this trend continues.

The favorability line has been the line I have watched more, leaving me with the impression that the public is so polarized that virtually nobody is changing their mind (in either direction) about Trump. But the job approval numbers tell a different story. This number is indeed shifting, and shifting away from Trump dramatically. Why the difference?

Well, of course, these are different sorts of questions. Favorability essentially measures how the public feels about a person in general. How much they “like” them. Job approval specifically measures how people think the person is doing in the job. It is very possible for someone to feel favorable about Trump (that is, they like him), while still thinking he is doing a bad job.

That is exactly what we seem to be seeing. Quite a few people are shifting toward thinking that they don’t approve of how Trump is actually performing in the job of President… but they still aren’t at the point where they will say they don’t like him.*

My gut feel is that while the job approval number is important, the real signal of a change in Trump’s political fortunes will be if the favorability numbers start to drop as well. We haven’t seen that yet. In fact he is still doing quite a bit better than he was right before the election. But surely if job approval keeps falling, at some point favorability will too… right?

(Meanwhile, I noticed another curiosity, which is that even while all this other stuff has been going on, ever since last summer… so well before the election… right track / wrong track numbers have been been moving dramatically toward right track… although wrong track does still win… What is up with that?)

*This is also where looking at separate trend lines on job approval for approve and disapprove rather than just the net value is interesting despite my preference for the net, because it looks like approve numbers are flat, while disapprove numbers are growing, which means that it isn’t so much people shifting from approve to disapprove, as folks who were undecided picking a side… the disapprove side. But I don’t think this changes the overall picture I’ve described.

 

Curmudgeon’s Corner: Two Way Split

This week on the Curmudgeon’s Corner podcast Sam is joined by guest co-hosts Ed and Bruce. Ed’s segment is mostly about the healthcare debate, with a touch of budget talk and a note on the Ides of Trump. Then Bruce joins the show to provide a Libertarian perspective on Trump’s first eight weeks in office. And even though he is out this week, Ivan wasn’t going to be left out completely, so he sent in a letter with his thoughts for the week.

Click below to listen and subscribe!

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Show Details:

Recorded 2017-03-18
Length this week – 2:35:38

  • (0:00:11-0:09:45) But First
    • Agenda
    • Letter from Ivan
    • Sam’s Guilt
  • (0:10:24-1:18:10) Ed from Pennsylvania
    • Pennsylvania Weather
    • Ides of Trump
    • Healthcare Debate
    • Trump Budget
  • (1:18:49-2:30:44) Bruce from Washington
    • Television Woes
    • Election Night Schadenfreude
    • A Libertarian view of Trump
    • Better than Hillary?
    • Ineffective vs Dangerous Trump?
    • Russia Hype
    • Surveillance
  • (2:32:26-2:35:17) Wrap Up

 

The Curmudgeon’s Corner theme music is generously provided by Ray Lynch.

Our intro is “The Oh of Pleasure” (Amazon MP3 link)

Our outro is “Celestial Soda Pop” (Amazon MP3 link)

Both are from the album “Deep Breakfast” (iTunes link)

Please buy his music and support his GoFundMe.