Monday, November 07, 2016

Don't Let Them Forget

With less than 24 hours until Election Day, it seems pretty clear that Hillary has a good shot of winning. She had a better shot two weeks ago, pre-Comey shenanigans and FBI leaks, but nonetheless she remains ahead.

But regardless of the election outcome, one thing cannot be forgotten. Millions upon millions of people voted for Trump and they must always admit to and account for this decision.

No doubt if (when) Trump loses, many of those who voted for him will go back to their everyday lives, disappointed in the election outcome, reluctantly conceding defeat. Others may not be so accepting and instead indignantly refuse to admit losing and even resort to violence to express their displeasure.

But much of the ugliness that defined Trump's ascent will recede as his supporters will no longer have an egomaniacal demagogue with full-on media coverage to broadcast his hateful drivel that fueled and sustained their rage. With Trump finally unplugged, the heinous and shameful qualities of his supporters will gradually subside and slink back into hiding.

If there has been one benefit to Trump's campaign run, it's that he successfully made plain to see the truly regrettable side of many Americans. We got to see these people for who they truly are, unvarnished, raw, showing their naked feelings. Trump's hate-speak enabled or empowered many to come out and express their deep-seeded emotions. And it has been quite educational. What we've learned, thanks to Trump, is that there remains an enormous amount of intolerance, hatred, animus, anger and nonsensical rage in many so-called patriots.

After tomorrow, many if not most Trump supporters will likely deny that they voted for him. As long as he was perceived to be a viable option, a possible winner, they were willing to proudly state their views about him. But now that the big day has come and passed, the thrill is gone and with it goes the furor and excitement of "telling it like it is" -- code for speaking untruths that confirm hateful thoughts.

But again, don't let them quietly recede into the darkness, able to hide their repugnant beliefs until another day comes when they can once again show their true colors. No, always make them remember that they voted for the worst presidential candidate in history, bar none. 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Trump will accept election results -- if he wins! LOL

The day after his now-forever-infamous "suspense" debate answer, Trump decided to appear before a gaggle of supporters and not try to awkwardly walk-back what he said less than 24 hours ago. No, instead he forged ahead by offering a lame joke as means of doubling down on his incredibly dumb comment. Booya! You go boy!

As if anything more has to be said about this guy at this point, I can't help but say a few things.

For one, this oft-mentioned Al Gore comparison is ludicrous. I'm fairly certain that if Gore was asked in October 2000 if he would fully accept the outcome of the upcoming election, he would've looked perplexed and said, "Why of course! I'm not sure why you're even asking that question...." Duh! No one knew Florida and hanging chads would soon become a huge issue, but that's not the point Donald! On principal, every presidential candidate must say pre-election that they will accept the election result, period. Done. Then, if in fact there is a close call, like 2000, you can contest and go through the process -- as Al Gore did. But that's post-election. Pre-election you clearly state you trust our electoral process and the result. You don't say it depends, or I'll let you know then, or I wish to leave you in suspense.

And for Trump to stupidly suggest that if he were to say otherwise and thus relinquish his right to contest a close vote is just absurd. So let me understand, according to his "logic," every presidential candidate going back beyond Lincoln should have been reserving their right to contest by refusing to affirm publicly that they would fully accept the election result...? Oh, okay, I get it. 

The saddest part is his supporters hear this crap and applaud. No thinking, no reasoning, just wild approval. 

But back to this day-after attempt at a joke concerning his doubting the election result. What's truly not funny is how we quickly forget that not long ago Trump shocked us by making references to his penis and hands size in a Republican debate. At the time, this was absolutely shocking, to hear any aspiring presidential candidate "go there" with tasteless innuendo and juvenile behavior. Yet he has since topped himself over and over again to the point where looking back, that incident is no longer shocking, not even remotely! Which in itself is shocking (and disturbing, and sad). Can you imagine four years of this?! The continual lowering of the bar?

So after the "suspense" debate comment, which Hillary rightly described as "horrifying," next day Trump decides to work it into a pathetic joke. His supporters in the crowd laugh and cheer, he laps it up, smiling and pointing at the crowd. This is funny? To not just state your distrust for our electoral process, but then to several hours later decide to go further and make a joke about it? As opposed to offering a mea culpa of sorts, even mildly?

Look, Trump's temperament and judgement have justifiably been questioned, but to me his decision to tell a joke about one of the most outrageous statements ever uttered in a presidential debate says it all. Is this someone who should be in the White House, someone who will say or do something completely out of the norm, and then follow it up with a bad "psych!" one-liner joke?! It's one thing for a president to appear on Jimmy Fallon and tell jokes and be funny, but this is a serious subject, our electoral process, our 200+ year history as a democracy, and Trump decides to follow-up on his "horrifying" quotes the night before by deciding to do stand-up. 

This to me is what's horrifying. To not just say something reprehensible, but then after given many hours to think about it, to instead decide to double down by reaffirming it, with a joke no less. 

Every president has made mistakes when speaking, some more than others (read: GW), it goes with the territory. But Trump misspeaks all the time, and seemingly knowingly (which makes it not misspeak!), and worse he doubles down and presses it further, digging the hole deeper. Doing so out of sheer spite and ego.

As president, I shudder to wonder what would be the end result(s) of such a personality trait. Truly scary.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

It's official: we live in unprecedented times

Donald Trump Won’t Commit to Accepting the Election Results.

The Republican presidential nominee refuses to say that he will accept the outcome of the election. In other words, Trump doubts the electoral process here in America. People, we may never see this again in U.S. politics. Hopefully. 

Trump great at winning what he's already won

What a waste. Another debate and nothing likely to change in the polls. Fine with me, Hillary maintains her comfortable lead.

But in a larger sense, it further illustrates why Republicans will not win back the White House anytime soon.

Trump is down by 9%-11%. He needs to win over non-base voters, and yet he just says things that the far-right base loves. So he simply re-wins what he's already won. He makes no inroads. He's behind, she's not. It's just dumb.

And make no mistake, very smart Hillary knows this. She just needs to answer questions and run out the clock. Say nothing stupid. Don't pick nose.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Republicans are all for spreading lies about voter fraud -- until it could cost them

Just priceless:
Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), a former Oklahoma secretary of state, said he is worried about the alarm bells that Trump is ringing.
“I just don’t believe there is any risk of massive voter fraud in the elections,” Cole said. “. . . It does concern me, because you’ve got a national platform running for president, and you delegitimize the process by which presidents are chosen when you raise doubts.”
GOP leaders, who are fighting to preserve a fragile Senate majority and hold their wider advantage in the House, worry that Trump’s attacks could cast doubt on wins by other Republicans.
Where could Trump get this idea of a rigged election? Could it be from the likes of Tom Cole just a few years ago?

It's classic poetic justice when the nonsense they spread comes boomeranging back to bite them in the ass, then suddenly they frantically try to call off the dogs.  Love it when them chickens come home to roost.

Sunday, October 09, 2016

This was the final straw? Really?

As the list grew ever longer, causing one's jaw to drop even lower, it took this latest revelation to be the final straw for many remaining Trump supporters -- really?

Republicans should be collectively ashamed of themselves. To nominate a loutish, crude, ignorant bully was one thing, but then to stand by him this long -- despite the daily influx of rude remarks and new evidence all but making the iron-clad case for his lack of POTUS qualifications -- until a tape reveals he admits to groping women, with THAT (finally) crossing the line -- huh?!

From the start, the GOP has deserved Trump, a grotesque candidate who is the logical end result from years of embracing increasingly extreme and intolerant positions. It's priceless to witness Republicans act so shocked when they seemingly wake-up to finally realize what they've created. Trump is simply the product of a gradual (d)evolution, the punchline of a sick joke that has taken decades to tell.

So Republicans, please, spare us the sudden indignation and own your crazy. This man is what your political party is all about today, he's what your party has become, and to change that is going to take much more than condemning him when it's far too late.

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Only Chumps Pay Taxes

Immediate follow-up question for both Kaine and Hillary in next debates: "Donald Trump said (and he did, on video) not paying income taxes made him smart. Does this mean all Americans who do pay income taxes are dumb?" This utterance by Trump needs to be drilled home to the TV audience, that Trump indeed said this, suggesting that all of us who pay taxes are chumps. 

Recall that the Queen of Mean, Leona Helmsley, once infamously said, "We don't pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes." It's as if the ultra-wealthy all believe this notion, that paying taxes is just for the "little people," the common folk, the average Joe and Jane. Affluent plutocrats are above such a base and petty act. I mean, paying taxes, HAH!! Please. 

Much of this assumed belief is linked to the whole Ayn Rand Galt-Superman idea that people like Trump and Helmsley already do enough for the little people and commoners, building companies and providing jobs. We should just be thankful and grateful for their mere existence, given all the good they bring to the world. And to then expect them to pay taxes on top of this, really?! How galling!

The New York Times is out this morning with the revelation that Trump very likely has not paid income taxes for many years, even decades. Trump's retort to all of this will be that he was and is simply following tax law, resulting in no taxes paid. Perhaps true enough, but that's not really the point here, and Hillary and Kaine should not let him off the hook so easily. 

For one, Hillary/Kaine need to remind the public that the top 1% hardly ever pay the "advertised" top bracket tax rate. Just ask gazzillionaire Warren Buffett. He's at least honest enough to admit the reality of our tax code. In fact, at most companies, the mid- to lower-level employees are most likely paying a higher income tax rate than the upper-level management executives. It's one of America's dirty little secrets.

But more so, the real problem is Trump's tone and attitude when it comes to paying taxes. By saying aloud that he's "smart" to not pay taxes, it strongly infers that those who do are idiots. Nice. How patriotic. So who's left to fund schools, police and fire departments, the fixing of roads, libraries, etc.? Yup, the average citizen (read: not rich). 

And yet many of Trump's supporters are exactly the people he looks down upon and scoffs at for paying taxes. He has successfully brainwashed (too) many that he is an "outsider" and that he is one of them, a "plain talker" who tells it like it is. 

Yawn. To paraphrase H.L Mencken, no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Hillary won the debate. But by default.

Well, it's over. Hillary won. Whew.

But based on past winning presidential debate performances, it's not as if Hillary knocked it out of the park last night. Yes, she won. But given her opposition, especially the version of Trump that showed up, which even by his standards was weird and incoherent, did she truly dazzle us and clean his clock? I think not. And that's fine, by all means.

Last night, she simply needed to not screw-up, to avoid any unforced errors, and let Trump lose the debate on his own. She did just that, with perfect execution, saying enough taunting remarks to get under his skin, doing so without coming off as a pretentious or prodding, and successfully inciting him to be his true self -- an oafish, thin-skinned blowhard.

Yet it was not an A or even A- performance by Hillary. Sure, she knows her stuff, her answers are very credible and she is and remains poised. But she's certainly not her husband in his prime. Then again, who is or has been? Almost not a fair comparison.

But watching her performance last night made me reappraise Obama's debate performances. He's had his duds and he often could come off has stilted and even wooden, yet he's turned in many more impressive debate performances than not. And coming back against Romney, after losing the first debate, to then just smoke'em in the next two, was something to behold -- and not necessarily expected. We were scratching our heads after the first debate, wondering what was wrong with Obama, what just happened? Was he doing rope-a-dope? Not to worry, it quickly became game over, done.

We know debating is not Hillary's strong suit, I get it. And I'm not saying she was disappointing last night, not at all. In fact, she could've have screwed up with such a volatile foe and allowed him to back into a win (it's inconceivable at this point, but I suppose possible). She played great defense, not offense, but so did the 1985 Chicago Bears, worked for them.

Considering she's a weak debater, and her campaign is not particularly where it could be, perhaps we should be thankful she's up against a wealthy, bloviating Alfred E. Neuman.

But then again, it is difficult to hold onto an eel. P. T. Barnum did much with very little. If Hillary were facing a more conventional Republican opponent, one emphasizing policies and tempering the non-stop lies, she may conceivably be much farther ahead in the polls at this point.

All of that aside, the strategy for the next two debates is a no-brainer. Hillary, don't change a thing. You won this one, handily, and Trump does not know how to change. It's not as if he'll come out more muted or actually informed (!). His handlers must realize this and are simply cashing paychecks at this point. As in the OJ trial, Hillary, do NOT make him try on the glove.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Trump (finally) says, "“President Barack Obama was born in the United States, period."

Trump finally admits Obama was born in the U.S. But what about that team of investigators Trump sent to Hawaii a few years ago, who were supposedly hot on the trail, are we to just assume they found nothing? To help refresh your memory:
"I have people that have been studying it and they cannot believe what they're finding," Trump said an interview that aired Thursday Morning. Asked if he has assigned people specifically to search in Hawaii, Trump said, "Absolutely."
Of course we can assume there never was a team sent to Hawaii. It's like nearly everything Trump utters, fictional hot air.

But this is another instance where the media needs to follow up and ask him about these investigators, whether or not they found anything. If Trump is allowed to continue lying with no follow-up by the media, then how is the public expected to realize that he's lying? People are busy, with work and family, sure they should be better informed, but unfortunately many (most?) are not. That's why the media is so important, it's their job to get at the truth because the public does not have the time to do the necessary digging.

That will be a disturbing legacy from this election, regardless of who wins, the way the media has dropped the ball when covering a candidate like Trump. We've seen false equivalence in the past, but this is getting to be absurd.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

GW/Cheney kept us safe (well, except that one time....)

Today marks the 15th anniversary of 9/11, a day that remains as one of the most tragic in our nation's history.

And yet it's as if many Republicans have completely forgotten about this horrific act of terror against the United States. The video below includes just a small sample of the convenient amnesia that has befallen many notable Republicans.

Needless to say, if 9/11 occurred with a Democrat in the White House, we would have never heard the end of it, never. Republicans in conjunction with the far-right screech machine would have been reminding us of who was president then 24/7, non-stop, to this day and into the future.