Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Try on this theory for size: Donald Trump is getting ready to cut and run

Georgie Porgie 
Pudding and Pie
Kissed the Girls
And made them cry
When the Girls
Came out to play
Georgie Porgie
Ran away.

Donald Trump seems to be taking his cues these days from Georgie Porgie of nursery rhyme fame.

"I have great respect for women," Trump says, while from the other side of his mouth he regularly disses women in general and Fox News personality Megyn  Kelley in particular, not least of all by tweeting "I refuse to call Megyn Kelly a bimbo because that would be politically incorrect. Instead I only call her a lightweight reporter!" Sounds like he's trying to make her cry.

And yet, when he faces the challenge of possibly get asked tough question by her in the next Republican debate, he announces that he's not coming. Which is pretty much akin to running away.

That's cowardice in the face of of a woman, some say, an updated version of Georgie Porgie-ism. More than enough has been said of the question that if Trump is too wimpy to stand up to a single woman's questions in a debate, how will he stand up to entities ranging from Russia to ISIS?

Let me try a different thought on you. It's only a theory. But bear with me for a few paragraphs.

Donald Trump is desperately looking for the exit door. But without appearing to look for the exit door.

He started his run for president, my theory goes, on a lark — a nifty way to call attention to himself and build his Trump brand.

But the "brand" image is that of a tough businessman who never backs down. So he can't just pull a Sarah Palin, similar to Palin quitting the governorship of Alaska during her term. He'd look too wimpy to do that. Instead, he's been trying to insult his way out of his candidacy by losing to another Republican. Any Republican.

All his putdowns, from calling Mexican immigrants rapists, to insults to Kelly and Carly Fiorina, have actually been desperate cries for help. "Somebody please get me out of here," Trump has been obliquely whining and whimpering. 

"I know. Maybe if I called Jeb Bush 'low energy.' Maybe if I tell the truth and call Ted Cruz a liar. Maybe if I..."

Nothing seems to have worked. The more childishly petulant he becomes, and the more he pouts like a six year old who isn't allowed a second helping of dessert, the higher his poll numbers have gone. So now he's trying a new tack. He's going to bow out of a high profile opportunity, and hope that this will end his candidacy by enabling other candidates get more attention to pull ahead of him.

Somehow it all reminds me of a wisecrack that many years ago was attributed sotto voce to Marilyn Monroe during the making of an ill-fated film called The Misfits, and later scripted for a much lesser actress, Anna Nicole Smith, in an even worse film, ironically called Illegal Aliens.

"Who do I have to screw to get out of this movie?"

Bend over, Donald!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Is “Gun Culture” an oxymoron?

Gun “Culture?” Sure! With enough bullets in this baby, 
it can bang out the rhythm of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. 
That’s why you gotta have clips that hold lots of bullets.

Primary dictionary definition of “gun”:
A weapon incorporating a metal tube from which bullets, shells, or other missiles are propelled by explosive force, typically making a characteristic loud, sharp noise.

Primary dictionary definition of “culture”:
The arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively: 20th century popular culture.

Mind you, I don’t go as far as this commentator, who I admit makes a strong case for banning guns, period. 

Simply repealing the Second Amendment would do the trick for me, followed by the licensing of hand guns to those with a demonstrable need for self-defense (such as doctors who've received death threats because they perform abortions), and of shotguns and single shot rifles to legitimate hunters.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Why Maryland senatorial candidate Donna Edwards should fire her campaign staff. Pronto!

Maryland Senatorial Candidate
Donna Edwards. Send her money.
but tell her to fire her staff.
Scroll way down and you’ll find the text of an e-mail I received from somebody named Donna Edwards. 

From her letter, I gathered that she
's running for something-or-other and she wants my money for her campaign.

But she didn’t tell me directly what party she belongs to (although I suppose I could figure out she’s not a Republican.)

She doesn’t tell me specifically in the body of the e-mail what state, or even what region, she’s running for office, or what office  she’s seeking — at least not until I found it in some mice type down below her contribute button. Yes, she does say that big banks and donors "think they can pick the next Senator from Maryland." But she expects me to interpret that statement and dope out that she's a Senatorial candidate from Maryland.

She did directly reveal a little bit of the information I craved — in mouse type footnotes — at the bottom of her letter. But over 60 percent of Americans read their e-mail on their cell phones these days. So it's doubtful that most of the non-Marylanders who get her e-mail will even notice it, much less strain their eyes to read it.

I had to dig up the following by myself: A tiny bit of Internet research revealed that Ms. Edwards is currently a member of Congress from Maryland’s fourth Congressional District. And that she’s a fellow Democrat. And that she’s running for the Senate. And that she’s seeking retiring Democratic Senator Barbara Mikulski’s seat. But that she’s competing against another Democrat, Chris Van Hollen.

It’s clear Donna’s campaign is being run by nincompoops.

Listen up, ninconpoops. There might be a good reason for me to support Donna Edwards against Van Hollen. She’s a Democrat. I’m a Democrat. I’m pro-Sanders, and Donna has a position on campaign contributions very much like the one Bernie Sanders has. She hates the influence of big money on politics. So do I.

With the sophistication of data processing systems these days, it shouldn’t be an insurmountable task to separate local voters who know Donna, from out-of-state Democrats like me, who haven’t heard of her, but who favor Sanders-style candidates. And then to tailor a letter to out-of-staters.

So you might have begun your e-mail to me like this,
Dear fellow Democrat, 
If we’re going to get Wall Street’s greedy hands off our government, it’s going to take more than Bernie Sanders alone. It’s going to take a Senate devoted to supporting the kinds of programs Bernie supports. 
That’s because Bernie’s going to need lawmakers  who side with him and think like him to pass legislation supporting his programs. Without support in the Senate and Congress, Bernie will be just a lone voice in the wilderness, even if he wins his election. 
That’s why I’m reaching out to you to help me beat the Wall Street-backed opposition to my Senate campaign here in the State of Maryland. Yes, I know, you’ve got your own local candidates to support in your own state. But if you could find just $10, or even only $5 to send to my Senate campaign, you will be helping to assure that there will be one more person on the team that supports working families, not greedy hedge fund managers and investment bankers….
Unfortunately, Donna, one of your hack campaign staff, or one of the hack consultants your campaign hired to write your e-mails, are blowing an opportunity for you.

Get rid of them!

Here’s the text of the e-mail I received.

Dear [Crank]
I don't take money from Wall Street banks. You know why? Because I'm going to stand up to them. These big banks, and big donors think they can choose who gets elected.
I've always said forget big money, forget the establishment. They think they can pick and choose the next Senator from Maryland? Let them try.
We know the power of the people is the strongest force in politics, and if we all stand together, we will win.
There are too many families struggling to stay in the middle class, or even squeeze into the middle class. Those families, your family, needs someone who will fight for them. Someone who knows how hard you had to work just to put food on the table.
We must ensure the there is a voice for those families in the Senate. 
This fight is too important to let the establishment or big money donors decide its fate. Give all you can now and help us close the giant fundraising gap we face:
I know how hard you work, and the sacrifices you make to pitch in to my campaign. I can't thank you enough. 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Three cranky cranks for a chilly week — the lottery, negative Republicans, and Andrew Cuomo, a most embarrassing Democrat

#1. I won in the big Powerball lottery! 
How much? $2. How did I do it? By not buying a $2 ticket. 
I also win $1 per drawing in hundreds of other lotteries by not buying tickets for them, either. 

#2.   Here's how to control Republicans.
Early on in the Obama administration, Republicans learned a new game. Whatever the president was for, they were against. And vice-versa. This has been so effective that they’re likely to continue on doing the same thing if another Democrat is elected president.

Well, Mr. or Ms. President, here’s the antidote. Come out in favor of the Tea Party program. For example, say that you want to cut taxes for the rich. The Republicans will immediately pass a law taxing the living hell out of the rich. Insist that you want to arm every man, woman and two-year-old in the United States. The Republicans will then ram through gun control. Announce that you want to outlaw Obamacare. They’ll pass a law saying you can’t touch it for at least a century. Here's a song to help you remember that:

What it comes down to is, the average Republican congressman or senator has the negative mentality of a petulant six-year-old. That mentality was enshrined, years ago, in this song from the off-Broadway musical, The Fantasticks.

#3.    I’d like to leave you singing, but…
Despite the upbeat music, I’ve got a downer for Democrats. It’s our fellow Democrat, Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York. Unlike his father, who I still admire, Andy’s a political hack, currently doing a terrible job of hiding either his ambitions for a higher office or the stiletto secreted under his cloak. Some examples:

He pretends to be a champion of the homeless, to disguise his cutting back on New York City’s budget. Look, I’m not a huge fan of New York City’s mayor, Bill  de Blasio. But I’ll give the mayor credit for at least trying to do something about providing housing for the homeless. Cuomo, who until recently did nothing, nothing, nothing for the wretches of society, saw his nemesis de Blasio addressing the homeless issue and couldn't stand the attention deBlasio was getting. So what’s Cuomo doing?

He steals from college students. Instead of directly providing de Blasio with funds to assist with the mayor’s program to provide more permanent housing for people who can’t afford it, Cuomo now declares himself a pal to those without a roof over their heads and provides some funding — which he has stolen from the state’s regular contribution to the city’s higher education budget. Other cuts will hit the city’s Medicaid recipients. So he helps the poor by stealing some of the money set aside to help them and for the middle class in other ways. With friends like Cuomo, the poor don’t need enemies. The bastard.

He's a friend to the corrupt:  Cuomo has a penchant for palling around with corrupt political crooks. From an article some time ago in the New Yorker magazine:
“I’m very big on giving other people credit,” he told me. “It’s the whole collegial thing. That’s how I get what I get done done.” Most recently, in his State of the State address, on January 21st, Cuomo said that he would soon be going on a trade mission to Mexico, and he displayed a PowerPoint slide of himself, Skelos, and Silver, all wearing sombreros.
Former state Senator Dean Skelos and former speaker of the State Assembly Sheldon Silver have both since been arrested, tried, and found guilty on corruption charges. Meanwhile, even before the corruption trials, a nervous Cuomo closed down a commission investigating political corruption.

Hmm. I wonder why?

Sunday, January 10, 2016

How Republicans mislead the suckers, leading to lost jobs, lost income, wrecked investments, shrunken 401(k)s, and pollution and poisoned water for a fringe benefit

The results first, from the New York Times:
Earnings are down for companies that have made record profits in recent years, leading them to decommission nearly two-thirds of their rigs and sharply cut investments in exploration and production. More than 200,000 oil workers have lost their jobs, and manufacturing of drilling and production equipment has fallen sharply.  
The cause is the plunging price of a barrel of oil, which has been cut roughly in half since June 2014…..
In the United States, Alaska, North Dakota, Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana are facing economic challenges. 
Chevron and Royal Dutch Shell recently announced cuts to their payrolls to save cash, and they are in far better shape than many smaller independent oil and gas producers that are slashing dividends and selling assets as they report net losses. Other companies have slashed their dividends.
And now for some chanting from those wonderful folks who brought you unemployment, economic collapse, pollution damage, and flaming water from your kitchen faucet. And remember, this clip was created years before the current economic collapse, at a time when the concern was limited to the Chevron spill in the Gulf of Mexico off Louisiana:

Monday, January 04, 2016

Enforce the law at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge

What’s the difference between an Islamist terrorist and the Bundy followers who have armed themselves, taken over a national wildlife refuge in Oregon, and who plan to stay there “as long as it takes?”

Effectively, zero.

Both are armed and dangerous. Both defy established government. Both place their own personal desires above the law and the will of the people. 

Yeah, I know. One is Islamist and the other isn’t. So what? They’re both lethal and they’re both a bunch of psychopaths.

And both are perfectly willing to become martyrs for their outrageous causes.

"I didn’t come here to shoot, I came here to die,” said one militia member, who identified himself only as “Captain Moroni” — a name with great significance to Mormons and anti-government extremists. For the full Raw Story report, click here.

Ironically, when a far more peaceful group — Occupy Wall Street — took over a concrete public square block space, armed only with posters and slogans, there was a concerted multi-agency effort, combined with a private effort, that rousted them from the park.

Back in 2012 the news leaked out, through concerted muckraking, that
…a terrifying network of coordinated DHS, FBI, police, regional fusion center, and private-sector activity so completely merged into one another that the monstrous whole is, in fact, one entity: in some cases, bearing a single name, the Domestic Security Alliance Council. And it reveals this merged entity to have one centrally planned, locally executed mission. The documents, in short, show the cops and DHS working for and with banks to target, arrest, and politically disable peaceful American citizens.
But when armed and therefore evidently not-so-peaceful thugs take over an entire wildlife preserve, including buildings….so far, nada.

The Occupy Wall Street movement was out to make a point — that one percent of the nation controlled the finances and destiny of the nation at the expenses of the other 99 percent.

The point of the Oregan occupiers seems to be that the people of the United States have no damn right to set aside public land for wildlife preservation, or the peaceful enjoyment of nature, and that the occupiers have the right to graze their cattle even if it destroys an area’s natural beauty and resources, or to set wildfires, anywhere and any time they damn please.

Yet the peaceable ones got rousted while the armed terrorist in Oregon are so far free to continue their anti-American operation.

It’s time for the U.S. Government to exercise a little counter-terrorism in Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.