Thursday, March 05, 2020

Starbucks should close all US stores on Election Day

It wasn't that long ago that former Starbucks CEO and billionaire Howard Schultz was running to be POTUS. It was an ill-fated decision and last September he officially dropped out.

And that's seemingly the last anyone has heard from him.

Yesterday billionaire Mike Bloomberg likewise dropped out of the race, and yet he's made it clear he will continue to spend $$$ in helping to defeat Trump. 

What has Mr. Schultz done in this regard? Since exiting the race, what has he contributed in the effort to defeat Trump? 

Got me.

But I have a suggestion, one that I hope he seriously considers. As I've been tweeting for several months, voter turnout will be crucial in ousting Trump this November. Trump knows this fact and it's why he's always trying to suppress turnout. He did it with Hillary, constantly framing her as "crooked" and corrupt, in the hopes that people will become disgusted and stay home.

It's very discouraging to learn that for many of the recent primaries, Bernie's supporters have not been showing up in the numbers he expected. Needless to say, his supporters tend to skew young and if they're not bothering to vote, that could spell trouble for the D ticket in November. 

My suggestion to Howard Schultz? He should announce that on Election Day (November 3rd), all Starbucks in the United States will be closed. 

By doing this, it would not only "force" many young people to vote (as opposed to hanging out in Starbucks with coffee and their laptops), but more importantly he would be sending a strong message with such a stark corporate decision. I don't know the exact figures off hand, but closing all Starbucks would likely cost the company many millions of $$$ in revenue. However, Mr. Schultz could say that it's worth it. The fate of our country is at stake and no price tag can be placed on that. So on this very important day, forget coffee, instead get out and vote!

It would do much to resuscitate and rehabilitate Schultz' name, especially following what was a brief but embarrassing presidential run. All Chick-fil-A restaurants are closed every Sunday, sacrificing millions in profit to instead honor the founder's original Christian wishes. But analysts argue it's also been a brilliant business decision. 

I'm fairly certain Starbucks will be just fine if they close all stores for just one day. And frankly the payback in patriotic goodwill, not to mention the free advertising with this announcement, make it a no-brainer in my opinion.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Now is the time to be heard!

It seems a day doesn't go by that I don't receive a BREAKING NEWS alert about how Trump is doing something, anything, to further destroy the environment.

The latest, "US threatens retaliation against EU over carbon tax.

Apparently Trumpsters value pissing off "libtards" much more than saving the planet. But then climate change is all one big hoax to them....

On a separate note, I was somewhat shocked to see Trump holding a rally in New Jersey. NJ is a very blue state, voting for Hillary, Obama (twice), Kerry, Gore and Clinton (twice) in the last seven presidential elections. But then I learned it was payback for NJ Rep. Jeff Van Drew, who switched parties to support Trump. 

I have to admit, I was hoping to read this morning that Bruce Springsteen -- known to not be a fan of Trump -- made a surprise appearance in Jersey. That perhaps Bruce, one of NJ's greatest gifts to the world, would've seized on the opportunity to show that most NJ residents are not Trumpsters. He could've amassed many more people at his appearance than Trump's rally, further driving Trump nuts.

But it was not to be. No Bruce showing. 

He apparently had other things to do.

Look, I get the fact that Bruce has many fans who also are Trumpsters, and Bruce likely doesn't want to upset those fans. But speaking frankly, this election is more important than that consideration. I mean hell, Bruce is already worth $500 million (??), at least, and his supporters know full well what he's all about, his politics, his beliefs, so what is he worrying about? That he may piss off a faction within his fandom? 

Even if he claims the above isn't true, his absence last night is disappointing. He is known for making surprise visits in NJ, often. He has been outspoken about Trump in the past. So why, of all times, not take advantage of a Trump rally occurring in NJ, to throw shade and emphasize a stark contrast?!

Everyone, including celebrities, need to be as involved as possible in the lead up to this election. There can be no hedging or "playing it smart" for the sake of not wanting to ruffle feathers or annoy a certain segment of voters. People need to speak out and let it be known that Trump's rabid "base" is not nearly as big as Fox News, Republicans & Trump would have us believe. The crowd in Wildwood made it look as if NJ was Mississippi -- a complete farce! 

I've said similar about Obama, that given the reign of Trump, any traditional decorum respected by former presidents must be tossed aside. An unprecedented authoritarian tyrant in the White House requires unprecedented treatment towards such an individual. Bye-bye to conventional niceties!

Needless to say, this election is the most important in our lifetimes. From now until November, we need to actively and vociferously speak out, and refuse to worry about hurting feelings or alienating MAGA-heads. Four more years of Trump could spell the end of America (and Earth?!) as we knew it.

Wednesday, January 08, 2020

Republican Hypocrisy Never Ends

So Trump orders the assassination of Soleimani, Iran retaliates with bombings last night in Iraq and then states that's it, they don't wish to further escalate. 

And Trump and Republicans believe Iran. "All is well."

Imagine if this were Obama, taking at face value from Iran that any further retaliation is not in the cards. Fox News and Republicans would be laughing out loud at the naivety of Obama. 

The hypocrisy of Republicans is one thing you can count on time after time. 

A primary reason for the Iran nuclear deal was to at least have inspectors on the ground to verify that Iran wasn't lying. Critics of that deal can say the inspectors would be led astray or refused entrance to key sites, but what's the alternative? Well, apparently it's to just trust what the Iranians say, period. 

The same goes for North Korea. Obama knew not to entertain Kim's offers for summits or negotiations, knowing Kim could not be trusted. But Trump goes right ahead and trusts Kim's word, believing that he wouldn't engage in further missile testing. What a shocker (not) to now learn Kim was lying.

Republicans talk tough but in the end countries like North Korea, Iran and even Russia love them because these "bad" countries can easily dupe the morons in the GOP. It's no wonder Putin despised Hillary. 

And yet the dimbulb Trump base believes we're safer under their orange bully. 

We'll see if Iran is all done. No more retaliation. I doubt it, but then we'll just have to take their word for it, right? (so says Trump and Republicans....)

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Slippery Turley

Jonathan Turley wrote an LA Times op-ed, published yesterday, attempting to further defend his, by all accounts, embarrassing testimony before Congress. I have a few comments:
  • It tells you much about Turley with his comparison of Trump's impeachment to performance art, namely a taped banana. He choses a widely-publicized, absurd occurrence to contrast with something as extremely serious as impeachment. He also went there in his testimony with his glib “Even my dog is angry!” Ha-ha, funny guy! But what's truly funny is I don’t recall him ever being so jocular regarding the Clinton impeachment. There the POTUS committed the heinous act of lying about getting consensual fellatio and Turley treated that “crime” as if Clinton literally urinated on the Constitution and set it aflame.
  • Turley’s hang-up is speed, that the impeachment is proceeding too quickly. But he never mentions specifically how to slow it down. Presumably that would mean hear from more witnesses, beyond the already dozen (more?) who have already testified. Fine, bring them on, Giuliani, Pence, Pompeo, Bolton, Mulvaney – there’s five right there. Oh, but wait, Trump has forbidden them from testifying. Something Turley never specifically mentions (Trump's interference), in this op-ed or in his testimony. That alone makes what he has to say very disingenuous (despite his constant reminder that he votes Democrat (we’ll never know) and he has "no dog in this fight").
  •  I know statistics and when Turley compares this impeachment to prior ones, we’re talking a very small data set. Three to be exact. So to say this impeachment is quicker than one of the three others is ridiculous. Data significance (robustness) ain’t there. And frankly, Turley is no dope, he knows this, and yet he'll go there. Speaks volumes.
  • They’ve already fact checked this speed claim. Trump's impeachment proceedings are now at 77 days, compared to the blazing fast Clinton impeachment which lasted just 72 days total
  • Go back and view the videos of Turley defending Judge Porteous. It’s laughable. Of course, Porteous had the right to legal counsel, like any American, yet most lawyers would’ve passed, knowing it was a hopeless case. And yet the esteemed Turley agreed to take it. Why? My guess is Turley loves the limelight, the attention, not caring a bit about the laughter, or the merits, apparently. If he loses, so be it, it was expected, but if he wins, he’s a genius! It’s all about beating high odds for notoriety and fame. We saw that again with his recent testimony, where he was universally mocked on social media for his unimpressive “performance.” But I suspect Turley – much like Dershowitz – relishes being the devil’s advocate, the contrarian, as it gains more eye-raising notice. After all, there’s no such thing as bad publicity! 
  • Has Turley responded to the obvious outright contradictions in his 2014 WaPo op-ed? This alone should make whatever Turley has to say about this matter highly dubious.
P.S. And there's this from the very not-liberal Cato.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

The reason Republicans are so upset

Frat-boy Matt Gaetz and his gang of thugs recently stormed the SCIF room being used for impeachment interviews. Republicans claim the hearings are occurring without their knowledge, and that the impeachment inquiry is operating on fabricated rules. Both egregious lies, but Republicans know one thing for certain: their supporters (the base) are clueless, don't fact check and believe anything told to them by fellow MAGA Republicans.

The fact is Republicans are indeed present and have access to all of the supposed "secret" impeachment hearings and/or interviews. And this is the reason why they're so upset and rageful, because of what they're learning from these hearings. The testimonies are all corroborating what the whistleblower reported. Specifically, what William Taylor had to say was incredibly damning, all but justifying and assuring Trump's impeachment. As reported, Taylor's testimony "even led to gasps in the room" as "the gravity of the moment and the realization of what is at stake in the impeachment probe was palpable in the room." An anonymous Republican present succinctly said, "This isn't good."

It's after this bombshell testimony that Republicans lost their sh*t and, as they usually do, decided a diversion was needed, something theatrical and over-the-top to distract their Fox News base. Answering the call, Gaetz stepped forward with a genius plan.

Oh, and as for their second claim about the made-up rules, the fact is they wrote the rules! Republicans are very good at one thing, hypocrisy. They love rules as long as the rules don't apply to them. Same apparently goes for laws. Similarly, they despise deficits, until their guy's in charge and then deficits don't matter

But as a rule, the more you see Republicans pissed off and acting out, the more certain that Trump is doomed.  

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

My take on the debate

First off, I've grown weary of these debates. Too many candidates answering more/less the same questions each time. Instead of the field narrowing, it grew this time around. And there are eight more debates to go? Ugh. 

My take on last night:

Biden: Seems to now know that saying less is more, meaning avoid "senior moments" or gaffes. He remains near the top of most polls, better to just ride it out and let others fail and drop out. This strategy won't work for much longer. At some point, he'll need to give lengthy answers, often, and it will sink him.

Warren: She did fine. Compared to prior debates, she has quickly become the focus of attacks, with her rapid rise in the polls. Others will say it's counter-productive to see Dems attacking each other, but I disagree. Whoever does become the eventual nominee better be able to handle a barrage of attacks because that's what Trump does. Better to have Warren sharpen her chops versus other Democrats than to have her cakewalk. And frankly some of her answers could be better. It drives me crazy that she can't better explain her health care position, that yes taxes will go up, but after factoring in the health care savings, people will net net be ahead, i.e. the total savings surpass the tax increase. Bernie has been better at explaining this and he actually had his best answer to this last night. 

Sanders: Everyone wanted to see how he looked post-heart problem, and he actually looked better imo than pre-heart issue. As people say, Bernie will do Bernie, and that's what he did. Although as I wrote above, some of his answers have become even better, more concise and clear. The problem for Bernie is he has his diehard core base, but can he expand it? He would be able to if Warren drops out, but that won't happen anytime soon. So he needs to try and convert Warren supporters into Bernie-bots, but how will that happen? They're already with Warren, and not him, for a reason(s). 

Harris: She seemed noticeably at ease, esp. for someone who really needs to shake things up and make a move. But instead she seems resigned to the fact that she's likely Cabinet material. It's almost like she KNOWS she will be the future AG and she's good with that. In the meantime, she'll have fun and speak her mind.

Buttigieg: He seemed like he drank a few cups of high-octane coffee before the debate. He was very "on" and for him, fired-up. It was refreshing to see. And he didn't just keep to himself, answering questions as if on an island, and instead actively sparred with others. I think he's actively positioning himself for VP, knowing that role usually requires more of an attack-dog approach and demeanor. In my opinion, for someone like Warren, I think it comes down to Buttigieg or Castro as VP (she'll avoid dual female ticket, and she won't pick Bernie to avoid inevitable uber-socialist smear (and Bernie wouldn't accept VP role anyway)).

Klobuchar: Many are writing she did very well. I don't know about that. I thought she came across as desperate at times, even seemingly near tears, as if realizing her chances of winning are coming to a close. She obviously was in attack mode, specifically directed at Warren. Try as she might, she's not going to rise much further in the polls, if at all. 

Gabbard: I have no idea why she was on the stage. As if she was a Republican plant or operative. Fortunately it will soon be "Tulsi who?"

Rest of the field: Meh. Booker, Castro, Yang, Steyer, Beto -- why bother commenting, they soon won't be on the stage. Hopefully they all do what they can to support the eventual nominee and defeat Trump. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Biden has to drop out

I've tweeted many times that Biden is too old. He's had many "senior moments" on the debate stage and on the campaign trail. Ironically, what is actually benefiting Biden is his longstanding history of making gaffes. His habit of foot-in-mouth disease and/or garbling what he meant to say is allowing him to skate free now with what appears to be early-onset dementia of some sort. The media just gives him a pass, whereas if Warren or Buttigieg shook Bernie Sanders' hand and called him "Mr. President," there would be real concern. 

But showing signs of age is not the only reason Biden needs to drop out. The other is his son, Hunter. All informed, sane people know there's nothing there with this supposed scandal. Along with the G-7 and the IMF, Joe Biden was urging Ukraine to remove the prosecutor because he was not doing enough to investigate corruption. Republicans and right-wingers have reversed this 180 degrees, claiming Biden was trying to get Ukraine to fire the prosecutor because he was investigating Burisma, the company in which Hunter sat on the board. In short, Biden Sr. was looking to protect Biden Jr. All not true, with the truth being the exact opposite.

All of that aside, what we do know is if Joe Biden were to become the nominee, Trump and Republicans would look to incessantly hound him with this Hunter/Ukraine "scandal," to the point where it's all the media would focus on. They did it to Hillary with her private email server. It smelled just enough like a credible scandal that Fox News and right-wing radio pressed it hard, 24/7. It became this perfect distraction for Trump, allowing him to deflect from his extensive resume of corruption by saying "You think I'm bad? Look at her, she's no saint!" Followed by the "Lock Her Up!" mantra.

We can't have that happen again. Sure, no matter who becomes the nominee, they will always look to find some kind of supposed scandal to inflate and pound home to the Fox News rubes. But we cannot make it so easy for them. And with Biden, it's fairly low hanging fruit. I'll take Pocahontas nonsense over this Hunter/Ukraine BS, without question.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

It starts with a crack....

The dam is giving way. It starts with a crack and then boom, the whole thing collapses. That's how it went for Nixon, his approval rating was good and then boom, it plummeted. And then he was gone.

Romney and Sasse are trying to get out in front of the oncoming collapse. Only fools like Jordan, Meadows, Nunes and Gaetz will be the last to cave. But by then it will be far too late to save their lapdog skins.
Expect to see more Republicans waver and begin to move away from Trump's camp. Yes, sure, they'll face the wrath of Trump (as he's already doing to Mitt), but they know it's best to flee the Titanic while some life boats are still available.

Returning to blogging

It's been more than a year since I last posted anything on this blog. Instead, I decided to give Twitter a try, tweeting any thoughts or comments I had on any given topic. The upside of tweeting is the ease and immediacy: see something interesting and quickly post a few sentences expressing your take. Done. And the limitation on characters/words can also be a plus as it forces you to be concise and impactful.

However, the downside is the ease & immediacy of tweeting allows you to sidestep meaningful time spent reflecting on the topic at hand. Reacting replaces contemplation. A snarky sentence or two does not count as deep, considerate thinking. And for many Twitter users, the goal becomes getting many likes and hopefully -- fingers crossed -- going viral.

I admit, I got sucked into all that, the quick feel-good that comes from posting a tweet, then seeing how widely read it becomes, watching my followers grow in size (to 100, wow!) and wondering why others have so many more than me. Ugh.

So I plan to return to blogging. I will tweet links to all blog posts and I will remain active on Twitter. But I want to get back to writing commentary longer than 280 characters. Incredibly, I blogged all the way through the GW Cheney reign and thought that was bad; never did I believe we'd see worse. But Trump makes GW look like FDR!

Stay tuned....

Monday, July 16, 2018

The Tipping Point

I was going to try and write about the entire Strzok hearing but just couldn't stomach it. And trust me, it was horribly bad even before you get to the vile comments by Louie "Gomer Pyle" Gohmert. It was political grandstanding at its worst, nothing more.

It's hilarious to hear the Republicans go on about Strzok's anti-Trump bias, and how that presumably affected his professional work, and yet all of the House Republicans are obviously biased, 100%, no doubt. Yet we're expected to presume they're unbiased in their investigation about the 2016 election.

What's most obvious is the Republicans are desperate and in deep-panic mode. The only goal of the hearing was to discredit Strzok, and by association the Mueller investigation, because they know what's coming. Friday's twelve indictments were just a prelude.

And with today's press conference following the Trump/Putin meeting, that desperation and panic became even more palpable. More than a few Republicans have criticized Trump for his comments, and even Fox's Neil Cavuto said it was "disgusting."

I believe today marks the tipping point. From here we should start to see Republicans increasingly flee the sinking ship that is POTUS Trump. This historically awful and treasonous press conference was likely the last straw. How can the Republicans continue to support this man and his administration, abdicating their duties of oversight and being fully complicit?

As I said, bad things are coming down the road from Mueller and they know it. They've been banking on enough Americans simply not believing the bad news when it's revealed (thanks to the discrediting efforts of Republicans and Fox News).

But Republicans are taking a big chance, one that can blow up in their faces and decimate the GOP for many years to come.

With Trump defending Putin today and denying the findings of our own American intelligence agencies, Republicans are breaking out in flop sweat behind closed doors. Many are starting to realize they may have made a bad bet in siding with party over country.

Get ready to observe the rats turn on their orange leader....

Friday, July 13, 2018

Strzok Congressional Hearing, Part 2

Rep. Jerrold Nadler's opening statement:
  • He rightly points out that this hearing should really be about the nearly 3,000 children wrongfully separated from their families, how this happened and how it will be resolved. As opposed to this sideshow that will only play well on Fox News and to "the base."
  • Nadler goes on to state that post-election, the House Dems requested that the House conduct investigations into Russia's interference in the election, and Repubs said "no."
  • Note: the CSPAN replay had "CLINTON EMAIL INVESTIGATION" posted in the lower left corner the entire time. It's a helpful reminder since this entire hearing was NOT about Hillary's emails. It was all about trying to make Strzok look bad and not credible. This hearing was just another effort by Republicans to smear Mueller and his investigation, to further plant seeds of doubt in the minds of "the base."
  • Nadler requested that his Republican colleagues treat Strzok with common courtesy and respect -- almost as if Nadler knew how this hearing would play out.