Jimmy Carter 2020? Probably not


Former President Jimmy Carter has recently become more open about his views on current political events.

In addition to this, he was on a book tour earlier this year. Sitting and former politicians tend to release books before announcing presidential runs, creating some (seriously doubtful) speculation that Carter may run for president in 2020 although he will be 95.

Carter served as the 39th President of the United States from 1977 to 1981. A Democrat, he previously served as a Georgia State Senator from 1963 to 1967 and as the 76th Governor of Georgia from 1971 to 1975.

Carter was a one-term President and was succeeded by then California Gov. Ronald Reagan. Contrary to popular belief, a former president that lost re-election can in fact run again and this happened to Grover Cleveland, who was the 22nd and 24th president.

Carter was asked about running for president in 2020 when answering questions at a public event in Philadelphia.

“I believe I am qualified to run, but I am not going to run,” Carter said.

When on the “Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” Carter was also asked about a possible 2020 run and received a massive applause from the audience.

“I think there’s an age limit to being president,” Carter said.

Colbert then handed the former president a “Carter 2020” T-shirt in case he changes his mind. Not a single mainstream news source of any kind has taken the possibility of Carter becoming the 46th president seriously.

Despite the fact that Carter has stated he does not plan to run in 2020, many of the most commonly talked about potential candidates have also denied they plan to run for president.

Television personality, actress and entrepreneur, Oprah Winfrey has said again and again that she will not run for president, yet countless news sources won’t accept her answer. They continue to talk about a President Oprah as if she’s announced she will run in 2020.

For some reason, nearly every news source has consistently been pushing Winfrey, Corey Booker, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and several other incredibly bad Democratic Party candidates for 2020 that stray too far from the mainstream Americans and would all but guarantee a second term of the Trump presidency.

This is very sad because the lack of coverage on these potentially strong candidates will hurt their chances of becoming their party nominee, while the weekly coverage of Oprah Winfrey, Corey Booker, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren from CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times and The Boston Globe are essentially campaigning for these bad candidates.

If most news sources continue to ignore good candidates such as former Vice President Al Gore, Gov. Steve Bullock (D) and Sen. Jeff Flake (R) and constantly promote terrible candidates because they draw in audiences, they should talk about Jimmy Carter potentially running for president in 2020. This would draw in large audiences and he would still be a much better candidate and president than Booker, Harris, Warren or Kirsten Gillibrand because he actually cares about his country more than just gaining the “young liberal vote.” The constant coverage of Jimmy Carter would take away attention from the bad candidates and make room for the better candidates.

News media: Forgive, forget and repeat


Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigned among the request of former host of “The Celebrity Apprentice”-turned president of the United States, Donald Trump.

Trump felt that Twitter was the most appropriate place to name the acting attorney general until a replacement is named and confirmed. The acting attorney general is Matthew Whitaker.

Sessions was an early supporter of Trump, as he publicly endorsed him during the presidential primaries. At the time, Sessions was a U.S. Senator from Alabama.

As we know, the Trump campaign has been under investigation since 2016 over suspicion of Russian collusion. When Sessions was asked about whether or not he was in contact with Russian officials he denied it, which later turned out to be false. Sessions recused himself from the investigation, which angered Trump.

Since then, Trump has complained about Sessions on what seems like an hourly basis.

“Sessions should have never recused himself and, if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job and I would have picked somebody else,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News.

Even though this story is currently a big deal, I am all but certain that news sources will stop talking about it within one week.

No news source that I have ever seen has pointed out that Trump and his administration are not acting like innocent people.

Whenever Trump says or does anything controversial, every news source covers it then quits talking about it one week later.

In 2015, Trump essentially called Mexican people criminals, drug dealers, rapists and “assumed some were good people.” It made all headlines, then news organizations, especially CNN, began to cover his campaign on an hourly basis and would dissect every word he said. By doing this, they added a level substance to everything he said. In addition to this, CNN constantly speculated that there was “a method to his madness” and that everything he said and did was all a part of a brilliant scheme.

CNN and other cable news organizations never once brought up the idea that had zero government and or military experience and continued to dissect everything he would say and do, creating the illusion that Trump knew precisely what he was doing.

Despite the fact that Trump frequently lies, nobody seems to mind. Whenever anything good happens, such as the improving economy, Trump gets 100 percent credit. Whenever bad things happen, such as the increase in hate crimes and mailing of bombs to people critical of Trump, nobody ever seems to even partially blame him.

Media blanket-cover Pittsburgh shooting


Last week, a shooter opened fire inside a synagogue in Pittsburgh on Oct. 27. Eleven persons were killed and six others were injured.

This has been described as the deadliest against the Jewish community in United States history.

Authorities say Robert Bowers, 46, was the man responsible for the shooting. No alternative suspects have been mentioned.

Just about every news source has covered this story. Most have been thorough and are making sure this matter is known across the country.

Although sources such as CBS, CNN, and ABC have done a good job of making this story a priority, they have given hate crimes in general somewhat of an overlook.

As mentioned last week according to WBAL-TV 11, “from vandalism to murder, a new report from Maryland State Police shows that Maryland is seeing more hate crimes.” In 2017, Maryland saw a 35 percent increase in hate crimes since 2016, despite this serious issue, very few sources seemed to cover it

In this day and age, a lot of things are unnecessarily made political, however, this situation has a fair reason to be made political.

Some people have connected this story and the increased level of hate crimes to Donald Trump’s anti-Mexican, anti-immigrant, and anti-Islam policies as well as his popularity among white supremacists.

Despite this somewhat logical connection, Vice President Mike Pence rejected the idea that President Donald Trump’s rhetoric contributed shooting in Pittsburgh.

“Look, everyone has their own style. And frankly, people on both side of the aisle use strong language about our political differences,” Pence said in an interview with NBC News “But I just don’t think you can connect it to threats or acts of violence… And I don’t think the American people connect it.”

Although sources such as CBS, CNN and ABC have not covered the rise of hate crimes in the USA as much as they should have, they did make this story a priority.

Wigs are worse than hate crimes?


The rate of hate crimes has gone up over the past several years, yet it has received little media attention.

Eric Blankenstein, a senior Trump appointee responsible for enforcing laws against financial discrimination, used to write blogs and once questioned in if using the n-word was inherently racist and said that the majority of hate crimes were big hoaxes.

In a statement, Blankenstein admitted that he wrote the posts but claims they have no bearing on his work now.

According to WBAL-TV 11, “from vandalism to murder, a new report from Maryland State Police shows that Maryland is seeing more hate crimes.”

In 2017, Maryland saw a 35 percent increase in hate crimes since 2016. This has also been a nationwide increase. Despite this severe issue, sources such as CNN, Variety and the Huffington Post seem to spend more time talking about irrelevant issues.

The problem right now is that there are so many irrelevant topics of debate that the issue of hate crimes, racism, and anti-Semitism seem to have been put on the back burner.

In other words, people right now are more focused on minor issues of perceived political correctness, such as banning Speedy Gonzalez reruns and removing Apu from “The Simpsons” than the actual issue of ending hate crimes.

The way many people enjoy pretending to be offended by very minor things puts others under a false impression that racism is over even though it’s clearly not.

Even though Speedy Gonzalez offended Americans over potential Hispanic stereotypes, the Looney Tunes cartoon character remained popular in Latin America. This means the people that Americans thought would be offended by the character were not offended, yet Americans were.

Another example of people wasting their time was with Vogue’s recently released photo with of Kendall Jenner, with an Afro. This was somehow considered racist because she didn’t really have an Afro?

These people should instead spend their time raising awareness of hate crimes and should try to take action in their communities to prevent violence, vandalism, and any other crimes against people on the basis of race, religion, sexuality and or nationality. News editorials should promote this idea.

Mattress Firm’s business not so firm


Mattress Firm has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last Friday. More than 200 stores are confirmed to close and up to 700 of its 3,230 stores could close.

The most common reason attributed to this news is that the business expanded too fast and that it had too many stores that were in close proximity to one another. As mentioned last week in this blog space, in one area of Austin, Texas, there are a reported six Mattress Firms within a square mile of one another. In High Point, N.C., there are two Mattress Firms within less than 250 feet of one another.

Nearly 43 percent of Mattress Firm stores are located within one mile of another one, according to financial data firm Thinknum.

As insane as this concept may sound, the idea of having many stores close together has worked for various chain restaurants, hotels, coffee shops and pharmacies. The difference between those businesses and Mattress Firm is that people don’t buy new mattresses as often as they frequent the other businesses.

“I think they’re humbled,” said Seth Basham, an analyst with Los Angeles-based Wedbush Securities in an interview with the Houston Chronicle. “They grew far too fast with ambitions to be a national retailer.”

Another attribution to Mattress Firm’s bankruptcy other than its insane number of stores is rising number of online mattress retailers such as Purple, Casper and Leesa. The selling point of many of these online retailers is that they are able to sell mattresses of supposedly similar quality to name brands found in stores for lower prices than those found at stores because they are being sold directly by the manufacturer.

Even though plenty of news sources are now explaining how Mattress Firm’s strategy of having a store in every corner is what led to its bankruptcy and shutting down of stores, the media never questioned their improbable plan in the past. As mentioned last week, very few people actually buy a new mattress every five to seven years as retailers recommend. Buying a mattress is a significant purchase for most people that happens less than twice each decade.

If someone is planning on buying a mattress, would they really mind driving an extra mile if there was one less mattress store?

Amazon entering mattress business


Despite the seemingly infinite number of mattress brands, Amazon has just released its own mattress, creatively named “AmazonBasics Memory Foam Mattress.”

The newly released mattresses are currently sold exclusively by Amazon. The selling point is their impressively low prices, making them some of the least expensive memory foam mattresses on the market. Costs range from $130 to $350 depending on size.

In addition to there being countless mattress brands, there is a strangely large number of mattress retailers in the United States. In one area of Austin, for example, there are a reported six Mattress firms within a square mile of one another. In High Point N.C., there are two Mattress firms within less than 250 feet of one another.

If that’s not enough for you, there’s been a rising number of online mattress retailers such as Purple, Casper and Leesa. The selling point of many of these online retailers is that they are able to sell them for lower prices than those found at stores because they are being sold directly by the manufacturer.

While many of these online mattress retailers have lower prices than better-known brands, AmazonBasics prices are even lower.

Amazon is covered on the news on a near-daily basis. Even though Amazon is billions in debt, its stock price remains high and news coverage is almost always positive. Amazon has changed their perception of an online department store to a maker of everything in the last few years. Very few appear to be worried that Amazon seems to be putting everything out of business.

Very few news and review sources seem to mention that a negative aspect of buying a mattress online is that buyers cannot simply lie down on several mattress and pick out their favorite, they have to buy one without trying it and hope for the best. There’s a return policy, but it’s still a much more binding decision than lying down on a store sample for several seconds.

To add to this, very few news organizations have attempted to explain how all of these mattress retailers stay in business. Very few people actually buy a new mattress every five years as retailers recommend. Who is buying all of these mattresses? Are there mattress connoisseurs that buy new mattresses every week? There have been many conspiracy theories, but no definitive answers as to how they stay in business.

Tesla getting attention, but not all good


Tesla is a company that is covered on what seems like daily basis. Whenever Tesla announces a new car, the release date gets pushed several times and the company’s business model is often questioned.

The most talked about car from Tesla is the Model 3, which was announced in 2016. The thing about the car that caught most people’s attention was its $35,000 starting price, which is less than half the price of Model S.

The Model 3 had even more delays than expected and Tesla is still unable to meet demand.

Even though the Tesla Model 3’s lower-priced version generated a lot public interest, this version is still yet to be released. The car manufacturer is aiming to start production in early 2019, nearly three years after its initial announcement.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has also received criticism for his somewhat erratic style of leadership.

Tesla’s stock value decreased a full five percent when he was criticized for smoking marijuana during an interview on the “Joe Rogan Show.”

Musk’s use of Twitter has also created problems for him and his company.

“I am considering taking Tesla private at $420,” Musk said on Twitter. “Funding secured.”

The SEC has filed a lawsuit against Musk for fraud because they said he did not actually secure the funding.

Many news sources seem to be eager to label Tesla as a failing company. Even though it’s widely reported that the company is losing money, it is not widely reported that the company has expanded from a little-known manufacturer of niche sports cars into a household name in only 15 years.

Forbes released sales figures that show the Tesla Model easily outsold all of its competitors in July and August. To illustrate this, the Tesla Model 3 alone outsold the total combined sales of the BMW 2, 3, 4 and 5 Series.

In addition to receiving much negative coverage recently, many news media outlets are not giving Tesla credit for its impact on the automobile industry. The company has undoubtedly played a major role in shifting the public perception of electric cars from being lackluster vehicles to cars that can be compared to some of the most respected on the market.

Not only is Tesla responsible for making electric cars “cool” and “fancy,” many well-known car companies are suddenly making aggressive pushes into the electric automobile industry. These companies include Porsche, Jaguar, Audi and BMW, just to name a few. This shift is better for the consumer and the environment.

Tesla is far from a failing company, but much of the negative coverage will undoubtedly hurt the companies value with consumers and investors. If Tesla fails, other major car manufacturers might be led to believe that electric cars are not a worthwhile investment. When Tesla becomes more stable, news media coverage of it will become less negative, as the company has already had a major impact on the automobile industry.

‘Shadow of the Tomb Raider’ released


Last week marked the release of the newest entry in the “Tomb Raider” series, “Shadow of the Tomb Raider” for Xbox One, Playstation 4, and PC. 

Shadow of the Tomb Raider” is the third and final chapter of Lara Croft’s origin story. It has received mostly positive reviews. Most critics have praised the game’s improved story, graphics and gameplay.

The franchise’s famous hero, Lara Croft, has been raiding tombs since her first appearance in 1996’s “Tomb Raider” for the PlayStation One and Sega Saturn. This long-running franchise has had 12 main games as well as countless spin-off games, such as “Lara Croft Go” for mobile phones and the downloadable game, “Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light.” The series has also inspired other popular game series such as “Uncharted.”

Despite the success of the series, there was a time where critics and video game journalists were convinced that the “Tomb Raider” series had run its course and was no longer relevant. Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix then rebooted the franchise with 2013’s “Tomb Raider.” Much like the James Bond series 2006 reboot, “Casino Royal,” the new “Tomb Raider” was grittier than any previous entry and reinvented Lara Croft as more human than before in this origin story.

Both 2013’s “Tomb Raider” and its sequel, “Rise of the Tomb Raider,” were both critical and commercial successes. Square Enix CEO Yosuke Matsuda revealed that the last two games combined have sold nearly 18 million copies. The only common complaint about the last two “Tomb Raider” games were their generic stories.

Just about every entertainment source that shares news about video games has mentioned “Shadow of the Tomb Raider” one way or another. Despite this, the PlayStation 4-exclusive, “Marvel’s Spider-Man,” which was released only one week prior has received much critical praise and media attention. This game may hurt the sales of “Shadow of the Tomb Raider.”

Talk about 2020 race builds


The Democratic governor of Montana, Steve Bullock, has recently been on several trips to Iowa. This has fueled speculation that the red-state governor may run for president.

Ever since the 2016 election, there has been talk about 2020 on a daily basis. Some argue that the Democratic party should become the socialist party of America, while others argue that the Democratic party should take a more centrist and pragmatic approach to matters.

Other than former Vice President Joe Biden, most of the names being talked about for 2020 are notably more liberal than former President Barack Obama and are from liberal states such as California, New York and New Jersey.

Unlike many of the other talked about potential 2020 candidates, Bullock is from a conservative state. He was re-elected governor in a state where Donald Trump won by 20 percent during the general election in 2016.

Bullock says Democrats will lose the 2018 midterms if they make it “just a referendum against Donald Trump. It’s not enough from my perspective just to be against him.”

In addition to being from a conservative state, Bullock’s policies and goals are considerably different from what would be expected from a Democrat. Bullock has opposed having a sales tax in Montana and has on a number of occasions made budget cuts.

Unlike many blue-state Democrats, Bullock also had to appeal to Republicans in order to be elected and believes there is more to governing successfully than taking whatever is the most progressive position.

“Somewhere between 20 and 30 percent of my voters also voted for Donald Trump. But how I win and how I govern, I don’t think there’s any secret recipe,” Bullock said in an interview on ABC News.

A number of news outlets have mentioned Bullock as a possible 2020 candidate but have cited his lack of name recognition as a potential challenge for him.

Most mainstream news sources treat certain politicians like heroes and others like they are pure evil and they seem to want certain candidates to run in 2020. For an example, CNN has mentioned former bartender and current Democratic nominee for New York’s 14th district, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as “the new face of the democratic party,” even though she is yet to win a House seat.

Another example of a politician who is portrayed in a positive light is Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul. Time magazine wrote a cover story about Paul, calling him “the Most Interesting Man in Politics.” On the other hand, politicians such as Hillary Clinton are portrayed by sources such as CNN as a corrupt pathological liar despite having almost the same average of true and false statements as Obama according to Politifact.

Many news outlets are quoting advice on how to win non-liberal states from people with ultra-liberal viewpoints who are from liberal states such as Bernie Sanders, a socialist Senator from Vermont. Many news sources and Democrats that want to win elections are ignoring the opinions and ideas of Democrats who actually won elections in conservative states such as Bullock.

Twitter bans Alex Jones, InfoWars


Twitter banned Alex Jones and other accounts pertaining to InfoWars, his fake news website on Thursday afternoon. This was covered by countless local and national news sources including ABC, CBS, NBC, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post to name a few. This story has also been covered by a number of tech websites such as CNET and Engadget.

InfoWars is known for promoting fake news stories and conspiracy theories such as 9-11 being an inside job, the Sandy Hook school shooting was a hoax, and countless untrue stories about various public figures.

“Today, we permanently suspended @realalexjones and @infowars from Twitter and Periscope. We took this action based on new reports of Tweets and videos posted yesterday that violate our abusive behavior policy, in addition to the accounts’ past violations,” the company wrote on its account.

Twitter is not the first high-profile company to drop Infowars. Apple, YouTube, Facebook and Spotify removed InfoWars from their platforms earlier this August. These companies mostly cited “hate speech” as their reason for removing Jones and InfoWars from their platforms and not for deliberately spreading false information.

Back in August, Twitter publicly stated that they would not remove Jones or InfoWars because they did not violate their policies. Twitter had previously suspended Jones for one week for promoting violence against news reporters, saying to get their “battle rifles” ready.

Twitter decided to ban Jones and InfoWars after Jones publicly harassed Oliver Darcy, a reporter at CNN. On this same day, Jones also harassed Senator Marco Rubio.

News sources such as The Wall Street JournalThe Washington Post and The New York Times have done a better job of covering this story than most other news sources because they also mentioned that these tech companies have been criticized for waiting too long to remove InfoWars and other fake news sources from their platforms.

Many believe that some of these companies only removed Jones and Infowars because other companies did so and not for the reasons that they provided. This is a fair and valid point, as sources like InfoWars have already made a major impact on the public. In addition to this, InfoWars has been around for years and has had few problems releasing false information, hateful content, and promoting violence. Many news sources have made the mistake of labeling InfoWars as a far-right website and not a fake news website.