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.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Placing The Blame

Incredible. Trump continues to publicly state his preference for Putin over our own US president. Recall when GW was commander in chief and many Democrats questioned going to war in Iraq, how they were regarded as being unpatriotic. And yet we have Trump embracing and praising Putin over Obama -- where is the Republican outrage over this blatant unpatriotic act?! 

Then we have Trump stating that he could tell by the body language of intelligence officials that they were displeased with Obama's policies. Again, incredible. An egregiously false assertion that is beyond the pale. Intelligence briefers are career professionals who's primary role is to deliver intel in a neutral fashion. 

Look, as much as we continue to be shocked by Trump (just when you think it was no longer possible!), the fact that needs to be continuously stressed is there is no Trump without his GOP supporters.  Who is truly to blame here? Yes, Trump is an ignorant and dangerous sociopath, but he would be that same person high up in a tower in NYC and NOT a presidential candidate if not for his supporters. Republicans put him where he is (and I'm convinced Trump never expected to be the nominee) so they are the real problem.

If someone brought a skunk into a room, are you going to blame the skunk for the stench? The skunk didn't just saunter into the room!

This fact always comes to mind whenever I hear a Republican friend admit wholeheartedly that Trump is a nut and they will not vote for him. They say it as if they want me, the liberal Democrat, to congratulate them or pat them on the head, as if they're proudly making it known, "see, I'm not one of those crazy Republicans!"

But what they fail to say or recognize is that their own party spawned this mess. Trump hatched from their party. They act as if Trump is some kind of one-off mistake, an outlier event that certainly won't happen again in their party. Huh?! Why not? 

The only way to prevent another Trump from happening is for the Republican Party to undergo a massive transformation, top to bottom. Short of that occurring, at the very least they need to find a way to lock up their crazies in the basement. 

Reagan was very good at pretending to hear the extremists, and then ultimately ignoring most of them. But as we know, the insane are now running the asylum.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Current state of the GOP: expecting a pile of manure to not attract flies

Good article.

But can't ignore one fact: Trump won the nomination of his party fair and square. All Republicans can't bemoan this fact as if a bad dream. It's not as if it happened magically. It's like a crystal meth user, abusing his body for years, looks in mirror and sees horrible face, no teeth, deep wrinkles, and wonders why?

Trump's rise is not by accident. Someone like this guy should never be the popular winner of the party -- and yet he is. 

It's time for serious introspection and change for the GOP. It's not enough for "sane" Republicans to condemn him as it will only repeat. Before Trump there were the nutball Tea Party folks, leading up to Trump. Who next? David Duke? It's been a gradual devolution. 

Current (delusional) state of the GOP: expecting a pile of manure to not attract flies. 

Why the fuss now about EpiPen?

I have a serious question: why is everyone making such a fuss about the recent price hike of the EpiPen? It's not as if Mylan raised the price overnight by 500%. No, it took the company the last nine years to do that, as depicted in this chart:

In this time, inflation was just under 20% in total, FYI.

I ask: why is it when Mylan jacked up the price of EpiPen to $200 in 2012, or by 100% since 2007, nothing was said? Or when the price doubled again to $400 by 2015, the same, crickets, no blaring headlines or public outcry. But when it hit $600 this month, suddenly bedlam, outrage, and the Mylan CEO quickly becomes the face of what's wrong in this country.

The price of EpiPen went from $100 to $600, a 500% increase in nine years, and it was only the recent hike from $530 to $609 that went too far? Huh??

There's ample blame to go around for the health care cost fiasco, but I suspect some of it has been due to a combination of understandable public ignorance and the lack of a boogeyperson to target. The public ignorance of these egregious price hikes is due to a lack of media coverage. It's really only since last year, thanks to Martin Shkreli, that the media decided to focus on this long-standing problem. Shkreli instantly became the "bad boy" (to quote George in a Seinfeld episode), easily embodying a sinister poster boy for all that was wrong with this practice and the health care industry in general.

No, I don't blame the public for the delayed outrage but rather the media, which was asleep at the wheel and needed a John-McEnroe-of-pharma figure to finally kindle their interest.

And now they have Mylan CEO Heather Bresch to demonize.

Yet recall the Enron scandal, truly a despicable episode in corporate America history, but it really only kicked into a new gear when the media attached faces to it, namely Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling, i.e. boogeymen. The fact is Enron was outrageous and scornful enough in and of itself, which should not have required "evil" humans as proverbial pinatas to incite our condemnation.

I'm afraid that's what has occurred here. These exorbitant price increases have been taking place for many years, contributing to runaway health care costs, but there's been little to no public outcry, and no politicians promising to look into it further. Until the media finally found a convenient scapegoat in Shkreli.

It's really a sad statement all around, about much more than just price gouging.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Brexit result was all about young versus old

The Brexit outcome boiled down to age demographics:

The younger the voter, the more likely they were to vote against Brexit. And yet the younger the voter, the more likely they did not show up to vote.

We're hearing much about how the old have decided the fate for the young in the UK, but the young(er) have only themselves to blame. Wake up young people, not voting has consequences!

The Brexit outcome proves two things: 1) younger voters are lazy, and 2) older voters are gullible, misinformed -- but gosh darn it, they will show up to vote, a dangerous combo!

USA, you are forewarned!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Republicans: You have met the enemy and he is you

Can all too many Republicans please stop bemoaning the fact that Trump is going to be your nominee?! As if he has accidentally done so well for so long in their own political party that it's just some weird happenstance event, something that is completely befuddling -- oh please!

Wake up Republicans, all of you, every single one, and look in the mirror. This hair-challenged buffoon won easily versus your supposed best of the lot (and there were lots of them). All comers gradually fell by the wayside leaving Trump the winner, fair and square. Where is the debate? What is the argument? If Trump does not represent the Republican Party, then how the heck did he win in a relative cake-walk to become the presumptive nominee of the party?

It's understandable how many "respectable" Republicans have chosen to deny what has in fact occurred, to believe that the Trump ascendency is a indeed a fluke, an outlier outcome due to this reason or that. But the key word with such folks is "denial" or even better "delusion," as these more "serious" Republicans willfully rationalize away the rise of Trump in their midst.

Again, Republicans need to collectively take a good long whiff from a trough of smelling salts. Trump is just chum in the water. His foul bile and hate-speech is nectar to the ears of the susceptible and ignorant.

The entire Trump ascendancy is looking like a Twilight Zone episode. How many times did Rod Serling portray the dangers of mass hysteria and paranoia, the caving in to fear which quickly leads to animosity and violence?

And only at the end of the episode do the individuals realize what has happened, that they are the ugly, the ones to be condemned.

Trump would be nothing if not for his ample support. Look around Republicans, see who stands with you in your "big tent." It's long overdue to do so some serious inventory checking. Perhaps that tent is only big enough to accept what won't be accepted elsewhere.

And I would finally just ask, what about Trump's many liberal positions, past or present, which for some reason his many far-right supporters have no problem overlooking or ignoring? Cruz or Rubio or any of the other one-time candidates would've been crucified for these "waffling" leftist positions, but Trump has been afforded a free pass -- why? Could it be his racist vitriol and tough-guy rhetoric provide more than enough red meat to pacify his supporters, effectively blinding them to his more moderate stances?

But let's be serious, as we approach November, Republicans will unify, as they do, and coalesce around Trump. The media will play their part in enabling Trump to be considered a "serious" candidate.

In the end, Republicans are obligatory lemmings. They would unite to vote for a block of gouda cheese if the framing and messaging were right. And it usually is.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

It's simple, direct answers, stupid.

Kevin Drum writes about why Hillary continues to be hounded by skepticism concerning her forthrightness, especially when it comes to Millennials. It has to be the #1 problem adversely affecting her likeability or favorability ratings.

As Kevin says, many believe she's just too "slippery." A reason for this sentiment is that Bernie gives very blunt and unequivocal answers to questions, whereas Hillary does not. Instead she offers very nuanced answers that often come off as seemingly disingenuous or hiding something.

Important: it's not that Hillary is actually hiding something or dodging or lying, rather that it just sounds that way. However that is the crux of her problem, the appearance of sounding evasive or waffling. And it's no doubt amplified with straight-talk Bernie as a foil. In fact, what better opposing candidate to shine a bright light on Hillary's trust problem than an older, frumpy, plain-spoken Independent?

Kevin discusses the Clinton burn out experienced by many of us. We became numb to the incessant witch hunts leading to nowhere. But Millennials were spared this nonsense, so what gives with their heightened skepticism?

I think the lingering email controversy is the problem. Millennials may not know the details concerning the Clintons in the '90s, but they hear things, they Google, they learn just enough to be suspicious -- and then this email thing comes along and it's game over for many. To them it screams poor decision process (I too wonder, why did she do it?!), leave aside legality. It's about judgement and that could very well have Millennials thinking if she did this then what would she do in office? Fair? Maybe, maybe not, but the damage is done.

And I've also heard some Millennials make the point of privilege (a very big word with Millennials), that anybody else would be going to prison for this email crap. True? Maybe, maybe not, but the damage is done.

So given her unfortunate history, unjustifiably hounded, etc., Hillary's decision to sidetrack emails was indeed a profoundly poor one. And it does not matter if it's technically legal.

If not for Bernie, Democrats would be suffering from low turnout in primaries. The youth vote went big for Obama and they're going big for Bernie, helping him win one of biggest upsets in polling history (Michigan), but will these Millennials show up for Hillary when it truly counts?

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Watch what you wish for....

For quite some time now I've felt Trump has been punking us. I've always believed that he entered this race as just another vanity endeavor (much like many of his endeavors), and as with The Apprentice, which caught on like wildfire and he rode until it inevitably burnt out, he's again riding this streak. 

Yes, this is not his first rodeo, he's run for president in the past, but this time around he learned a thing or two. From who? From Mitt Romney. Once a moderate Republican, who no less gave birth to Obamacare in MA, Romney learned quickly when he was running to be the Republican nominee that he had to start saying outrageous nonsense and fact-free crap to win over the kooky GOP base. And lo and behold, it worked and Romney became the chosen one. Trump likely saw that it worked for Romney and decided to do it on steroids -- and what a shocker, it's working! 

Implicit in all of this is I have to (or want to) believe that Trump is not actually as crazy as he sounds. Indeed, Trump has supported more liberal positions in the past (such as Planned Parenthood to this day). In fact, I predict in about a year or so that Trump will appear on his buddy Howard Stern's radio show and admit that he was just saying the most outrageous fact-free crap because he knew much of the GOP base would love it (and of course he's right, as we can plainly see).  This does not excuse what he's doing or saying, but it at least professes that he's been acting. In stark contrast to Cruz and Rubio who actually believe the crap they spout, they are definitely for real, and therefore they're much scarier than Trump.

So what Trump is doing might be a gag (as I'm positing), but it's a gag that's working. So what does that say about the modern day Republican? As in the the classic movie "Network," Howard Beale was mentally incapacitated, going through a crisis, and yet the people loved and adored him. I'm not suggesting Trump is Beale, disassociated from knowing what he's doing or saying, far from it, but rather that the audience, or the people (in this case Republicans) are the fuel to the fire. There would be no Trump mania at this point if not for the popularity giveth by Republican voters. 

And yet "respectable" Republicans are freaking out. Trump is throwing a monkey wrench into the plan of how it's supposed to go.

But back to Trump himself, I have to think a part of him just can't believe it, that these rubes are eating up his crap, he probably didn't think he'd go this far for so long, and now he has to keep going (like rollercoaster, strapped in, can't get off now). In large part, perhaps, it's why he keeps upping the ante with his comments, like his penis size reference and go-beyond-waterboarding stance in the last debate, like he's almost trying to get out of this. And yet the more outrageous and crazy and fact-free he gets, the more the base loves him. Recall that when Howard Beale started to convey facts, albeit dour messaging, his popularity plummeted.

Trust me, when the GOP finally does implode, they'll be writing about this moment, when a billionaire with funny hair said all kinds of irresponsible nonsense and the "adults' in the room, i.e. Republican voters, ate it up and applauded. It's why Louis CK is not too far off in making Hitler comparisons to Trump, as Hitler said all kinds of crazy hateful rhetoric and yet the German public loved it and hoisted him into power. Hitler of course was absolute evil, but he couldn't have done it without the many Germans supporting him. 

If Republicans want to get angry at Trump, just look in mirror, he wouldn't be where he is right now without the help of Mr. & Ms. Republican. You reap what you sow.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

My recent exchange with a sane Republican friend

All Republicans are not crazy. Some are just delusional and/or in denial -- and/or a friend.

From a text exchange tonight with a non-crazy Republican friend who was bemoaning Trump's popularity, my response:
The rest of the Republicans are kooks, and yet Republicans have to vote for someone. 
The party is imploding, a long slow car crash.
They only have Congress due to gerrymandering.
Trump's popularity in the GOP is not really surprising, just look at their last two picks, Romney and McCain. Two guys who were actually more moderate at one point in time. Like Trump. But were forced (?) to say crazy things to become the nominee. Presumably like Trump. We'll learn the truth one day on a Howard Stern (confessional) show.
As I said, this party is imploding.
More/less half the people in it declare themselves to be "independent" (code for embarrassed Republican) or want to vote for a foreigner like Merkel.
Good luck winning the White House with that! 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Classic McConnell Hypocrisy

A president should not nominate a Supreme Court justice -- unless that president happens to be a Republican. It's what McConnell and the Republican Party are all about. Sheer, stark, brazen hypocrisy. But hey, who's paying attention?

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Robo-Rubio moment(s) = his Dean scream

Looks like Rubio's robot debate moment(s) = his Howard Dean scream moment, it's over. He admits to screwing up, never a good sign.
So I must revise my expectations which were Rubio would eventually overtake Trump for the nomination. Now I expect that Trump will continue to do well and then I think a Bloomberg enters the race. The established, elite Republicans have been freaking out with Trump's success. He's not only unpredictable and uncontrollable, he's almost certainly toast versus Hillary -- that being their worst fear. Trump plays well to a (very) select audience, but on a national scale his "platform" will not resonate and his absurd statements will come off for what they are: fact-free hot air.
Many might ask why a gazillionaire like Bloomberg would want to be president. You can ask the same thing about Trump. Ego? Vanity? Who knows. With Trump, who apart from the constant limelight that comes with the job, we have no idea if he'd actually like being president. Yet I think it's safe to say Bloomberg enjoyed being mayor of NYC (elected three times), he appeared to genuinely like governing, warts and all. And he does spend time contemplating and developing serious policy stances -- in no way can the same be said about Trump.
Regardless, I would be for Hillary or Bernie over Bloomberg, no question. However, it would at least be somewhat comforting to know that if for whatever reason Hillary or Bernie lost the election, Bloomberg would be entering the White House as opposed to lunatic Trump.

Sunday, February 07, 2016

What a performance, yeesh....

I still think Rubio gets the GOP nomination (prettiest pig), but wow, he was bad last night. It's as if he was reading from a teleprompter that wasn't there. Almost Manchurian like.
And he already comes across as boyish and too youthful, so what does he do? Recite as if he's standing before his classmates in 5th grade, giving an oral book report. Christie played the role of the intimidating, harsh teacher, admonishing him for use of excessive memorization.
Some may think Rubio will make the necessary adjustments off that dismal performance, like a football team would, but I think his ability to be something other than this robo-candidate is very limited. He can be very sharp with his answers, but they're always seemingly pre-loaded, fired off in a quick staccato that doesn't sound extemporaneous and genuine. He'll be the perfect foil for Hillary, who can sound a bit stilted at times.
In the meantime, this hilarious Republican race continues to plod along....

Thursday, January 07, 2016

I too am not a scientist

Too clever by half. 

We hear Republicans say this often, their current "clever" line to dodge climate change questions. "But I'm not a scientist, what do I know?" Of course that doesn't stop them from pontificating and passing legislation on things in which they have no particular expertise. Yet when it comes to global warming and climate change, well, then they must defer....

But let's just go with this inane method of evasion, if you lacked expertise and claimed ignorance on a given subject, what would you likely do? I bet you'd do some digging, see what the prevailing research had to say, what the preponderance of facts and evidence tended to conclude in a universal and consensus fashion, and then likely side with that for lack of a better explanation.

All of that said, you'd think after the Republicans said they were not a scientist, then the logical conclusion would be that they would defer to the preponderance of expert evidence and side with the 97% of scientists who believe in man-made climate change.

But no. Republicans say the "I'm no scientist" line, but then go on to spew drivel that has them aligning with the global warming skeptics. Or at best that no one really knows anything and that climate change remains a baffling and debatable puzzlement. 97% of the scientific community says not true, but as usual Republicans would try to have us believe otherwise, to align with the beliefs in their artificial bubble. 

It's all a joke, that is not funny. If you were dying of thirst and someone handed you a glass of water and 97 informed people told you not to drink it, that it was poisoned, and 3 told you to go ahead and drink it, what would you do?