The Widdershins

Posts Tagged ‘George Will

Okay, okay, I know we have been stewing like ceviche in the citrusy juices of the imPOTUS Tangelo for 106 days now, but the allusion to 101 Dalmatians was just too good. If only the birthing of my new googling machine had cooperated, I could have used the title last week.  

The head fake to 101 Dalmatians does serve a purpose though. Taken individually, pups are adorable, even two or three at a time is manageable, but 101 all at once is a herd of pooping madness. It’s like the sophisticated engineering of a single locust, but multiply that evolutionary design by millions and suddenly we are breaking out the Old Testament for gardening tips.

My point is this – no matter if you are an American who sees the daily onslaught of issues as adorable Dalmatians or plagues of pestilence, something alarming is happening in the country.

As disconcerting as yesterday was, with one-sixth of the economy and perhaps 24 million gleefully sentenced to Republican indifference in order to provide the largest historical wealth transfer from the poorest to the richest, it isn’t yet benedictory.

Likewise, it doesn’t even worry me that the poor souls who voted for Dolt 45 are doggedly clinging to him like dung-beetles to an elephant with acute diarrhea.

And not even the extinction level event of me linking to something George Will writes causes my alarm bells to chirp.  Yesterday while describing one of the Trumpanzee’s many disabilities, Will wrote, “[T]he problem isn’t that he does not know this or that, or that he does not know that he does not know this or that. Rather, the dangerous thing is that he does not know what it is to know something.”

What bothers me most was paraded in full view of the world on Tuesday. It is the reason we were denied the most qualified President in history. We were denied not because of hacking or Putin or Wikileaks or gerrymandering or voter suppression or not going to effing Wisconsin enough.  We were denied our rightful President because we have allowed aberrant behavior to be normalized. Not just normalizing Dolt 45’s behavior, but normalizing the wholesale disregard for shared values and expectations.

Notice in GOP Crazyland, Breitbart is larger than Fox in terms of creating a narrative…

That’s how we are punching the clock in our little piece of history. For the past thirty years there has been unparalleled asymmetric polarization. The Right has gotten more philosophically turgid while the Left has stayed philosophically consistent. When the intellectually lazy say, “Both sides do it,” tell them there are library ranges straining under the weight of sociological studies proving they are stupid and should be castrated to improve the gene pool. Both sides don’t do it. It is the Right that has gone off the page in any diagram of philosophical leaning.

To service and empower this time-reversing way-back machine, an epistemic closed loop has extinguished fact and replaced it with tribal truisms.  Tribal truism is a simple construct: Does whatever is said or heard help my tribe or hurt my tribe? If whatever is said hurts my tribe, I ignore it, deny it, or engage in “whataboutism”. I neutralize whatever hurts my tribe since it can’t be true.

For instance, Paul Ryan didn’t want to hear what the independent Congressional Budget Office had to say about the AHCA so he ignored it, called a vote before the CBO score, and for good measure, the Michelin Man doppelganger, Newt Gingrich, called for the abolishment of the CBO altogether. Protect the tribe!

Used to be the press enforced the rules by shaming offending politicians. Not anymore. There is no longer shame on the Right. When you get to the outer reaches of the philosophical spectrum, there is no longer the gravity of shame.

As DYB has so eloquently pointed out, access journalism has rendered the First Amendment a toothless lap dog. When I see Glenn Thrush, Maggie Haberman, Frick Halperin, Frack Heilemann, or “rock hard abs and Employment Whack-a-Mole” Andrew Sullivan, I’m reminded the only appreciable talent these people have is balancing both pen and paper in one hand while they are otherwise engaged on the business end of a journalistic glory hole.

Even birds are skeptical…

So what does all this have to do with Tuesday’s hearing with the almighty King of the Fibbies? Simple. Comey made a decision to violate DoJ procedure and write his misleading October 28th letter because there were no consequences. The bad consequences for him would have come from complying with the rules and not writing the letter.

The cost/benefit analysis was clear: He would be hounded unmercifully by the Fox/Breitbart/Drudge/Limbaugh/Hannity/PeeWeeHerman infotainment complex if he didn’t write the letter no matter if Hillary won or lost. There were only upsides to feeding the shameless nutjobs of the far, far Right. There were no concomitant upsides from adhering to the shared values and expectations.

Contrary to Comey’s statement, at no point in the criminal justice process, beyond basic fairness, is the reputation of the investigator of any consequence. Comey knew the Democrats would play according to the rules, but he knew the Republicans would not. In reality his contrived self-serving dilemma of “reveal versus conceal” should have been “violate and copulate” since he broke established procedure in order to f*ck the country in order to please himself.

Good government, efficacious policy, and the republic itself is under attack, we will be lucky if it is only 101 predations.

A case of the “bigly sads”…

If you’ve noticed, I’ve purposefully kept the links to a bare minimum today in order to emphasize one superb Vox article:  Donald Trump and the Rise of Tribal Epistemology by David Roberts. It is a few weeks old, but it is a wonderful synopsis of a very complicated web of problems. If you read nothing else today, take the time or bookmark it. It is truly exceptional.

One last thing – thanks to Fredster, DYB, and GAgal for covering during my technological convalescence. I appreciate them.

What are you thinking about today?

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Sunday evening was the final installment of Mad Men.  I admit to being an aficionado of the show and the era, but mostly of the women portrayed.  Peggy and Joan were the only characters who passed the beer test for me – people with whom I would have liked to spend time.  Their success was never doubtful, both professionally and more importantly, personally.Mad Men

Those are two things you can’t say about any of the male characters.  Peter Campbell would have looked good strapped to a Firestone test tire on a very fast car.  Roger Sterling, as glib and entertaining as the character was, put the “d” in debauchery and was morally agnostic except when it came to his personal pleasure.  Bert Cooper’s grandfatherly facade hid a heart only stirred by the aroma of cold, hard cash.

And then there was Don Draper – an amoral drunk whose behavior described the term “man whore” before there was such a term.  Don’s efforts at being authentic were defined around his success at being a fraud.  Whether as a father, husband, soldier, or just an average human, Don’s endeavors at being genuine were merely artifices of fraud.

There’s a learning there and I’m reminded of what John Lennon said, “I don’t want to be a loud-mouthed, poet musician, but I can’t be what I’m not.”  This has always been a hard lesson for me particularly when it is a teaching tenet in leadership development.  Translated, the rule means:  Be authentic even if authenticity is grossly unappealing.  Being inauthentic fools no one and is just one colossus waste of energy.  You can’t be what you’re not, even if what you are is a fraud.

John LennonThat lesson came to mind with the difficulty the Republican candidates are having with what ought to be the simple question of, “If you knew then what we know now, would you have authorized the Iraq invasion?”  A question first posed by Fox – not exactly a forum for Republican “gotcha questions”.

Invading Iraq has been soundly rejected by conservative opinion leaders like George Will as the single worst foreign policy decision in the history of the nation, but there are others who believe, like Bill Kristol, the Iraq invasion was the right thing to do.  Both Will and Kristol can’t be what they’re not – one grasping at logical congruence, the other unable to admit one of many, many errors about – well, just about everything.

Jeb Bush, at first in answering the question, couldn’t be disloyal to his brother, Marco Rubio couldn’t be disloyal to his potential billionaire funder, and Rand Paul, the only candidate on the other side of the Iraq War issue, would never disregard his father’s philosophy – unless it was first politically expedient to do so.  They can’t be what they’re not – Jeb, a loyal brother stained with the taint of family, Marco, a pandering, political man-child looking for a sugar daddy, and Rand, the inheritor of basement-dwelling anarchists pining for the chaos libertarianism would loose on society.

Then there’s John McCain who never saw a war that didn’t titillate or Lady Lindsey who parrots him with great pleasure and almost a genetic consistency, “me too John” – they can’t be what they’re not.Authenticity

For these people and others like them, authenticity means ignoring the lessons of thirteen-years, trillions of dollars, and the utter waste of hundreds of thousands of lives from the Iraq folly of conservative adventurism masquerading as foreign policy.  Being genuine for those romanticizing American colonialism is an exercise in disguising the motives of their foreign policy advisers, many of whom were the architects masterminding the Iraq War – resurrected like cicadas awakening to again plague us with their very existence.

As much as we would like to believe the Iraq War and the new threat of ISIS is purely and exclusively attributable to Republicans, no one in the world-at-large draws such a fine distinction.  The scourge of the Iraq War is an American badge of dishonor and failure — equally shared and worn by all of us for what was done in our name.

Of this I’m sure:  There is only one thing worse than being lied into a war and that is ignoring the truth when someone says they didn’t learn anything from it and they would do it all over again — only this time in Iran.  They just can’t be what they’re not.

Have a great Wednesday and take this conversation in any direction you might like.

 

A good day Widdershin friends. I hope your day is a good one.

There’s the breaking news of the American Sniper killer, Eddie Ray Routh, being found guilty.  Routh was pronounced guilty in a mere three hours of jury deliberation that included a dinner break and was then promptly sentenced to life in prison. From a legal perspective, Routh being found guilty under Texas law is as about as remarkable as the sun appearing in the East this morning. There will be an unsuccessful appeal of the guilty verdict and this just in: The sun will set in the West this evening.

A couple of months back, I read an article in the NYT Magazine about the need to infuse robots with ethics in their Robot Thinkeroperating algorithms. The article was entitled Death by Robot. This need to technologically propagate a puritan guilt is a direct outgrowth of asking robots to do more.

While there are few ethical dilemmas associated with a Roomba sucking up kitty hair, there are some pretty significant dilemmas when a driverless Google car culls through its decision tree. In an emergency, does the driverless car plow over a pedestrian, hit an S.U.V., a safer Volvo, or a low passenger total Mini Cooper? This is the “moral math” that must be embedded within the operating algorithm of robots.

It’s the same concept as Isaac Asimov’s three rules in I, Robot, making sure the robot machine does its job without hurting the human for whom it works. All of these scenarios evoke the classic Ethics 101 situation known as the “trolley problem” — deciding whether a conductor should flip a switch that will kill one person to avoid a crash in which five would otherwise die.

The pearl of wisdom in this article is delivered via a quote at a U.N. conference on weapons by a Peter Asaro, a Stanford Law School scholar. He said:

A machine is not capable of considering the value of those human lives that it is about to end. And if they’re not capable of that and we allow them to kill people under the law, then we all lose dignity, in the way that if we permit slavery, it’s not just the suffering of those who are slaves but all of humanity that suffers the indignity that there are any slaves at all.

Immediately upon reading that quote my never-too-focused attention was diverted to thoughts about the “Authorization for the Use of Military Force” (AUMF) concerning ISIL as opposed to the existing AUMF passed before our ill-advised thirteen year walk-about in Iraq. The thought — forget the robots, how did our leaders do on the moral math of waltzing on a dance card that came to suck the life from perhaps a half a million humans and cost $3.0 Trillion?

These days the Googling machine makes looking back easier and more accurate than trying to remember. Here’s what we were talking about back in 2001 and 2002:

Ann Coulter was belching the indiscriminate carpet bombing of random Muslim countries without much regard for who actually planned 9/11 followed up by slaughtering Muslim leaders and forcibly converting any survivors to Christianity.

Bill Kristol called the failure to overthrow Hussein in 1991, “the biggest mistake we have made.”

We knew the fabricated news stories were baseless lies sourced from motivated defectors, but we ignored them with a collective “meh” since media sources were reigning in critical reporting of the Bush Administration due to viewer pressure and patriotic fervor.

We suffered through 4,500 press appearance from Pentagon officers and analysts to drum up support through op eds, leaked sourced stories, and innuendo.

George Will indelicately compared Democratic war critics to Nazi collaborators, Bolsheviks, Nixon, Jane Fonda, and Leninist “useful idiots”.

We knew there was an orchestrated campaign to manipulate public opinion through a PR office run by Cheney and Rumsfeld where the overriding objectives were “we don’t speak of Iraq exit strategies” and “Iraqi occupation will be a financial bonanza”.

The Iraq AUMF passed Congress on October 10, 2002.

I robotTake a look at this list here even though your memory might be robust. Time has a tendency to shave away the edges of inconvenient truths, bolster shreds of motivated reasoning, and drain any doubt from conformational bias. I had forgotten the rawness of this period and how unfocused vengeance had replaced any semblance of considered reflection.

So herein lies the rub: If no countenance of criticism was allowed from 2001 through the run-up and conduct of the Iraq War, where any and all criticism was treated as treasonous unpatriotic acts bordering on sedition, did we learn anything from taking up residence in the discomfort of the “uncanny valley” where morality never mixes with the known reality of facts?

Was the indignity of the atrocities so pungent and acrid that we have chosen to yet again forget the guilt to ease our conscience? Remarkably, if driverless robots were making these decisions, they wouldn’t have the luxury of “unlearning” factual reality — only humans are blessed with the ability to consciously ignore the guilt oozing from our compromised sense of morality.

Take the conversation in any direction you might like.

Good afternoon Widdershiners! It is my sincere hope your senses are not under assault by the polar vortex — it is much too cold this early in the season and just think there’s another hunk of polar air breaking away and headed south. So this weekend enjoy football, go see a movie, or start looking through Thanksgiving recipes you can conspicuously leave around your kitchen as you unpack the finest concoctions of your favorite caterer.

Where there’s a will…George Will

As per the tradition around these parts, Friday’s post is the news of the weird. There’s nothing more abnormal for me than this first item. I’m actually quoting George Will and quoting him favorably — yes, that George Will, the conservative one who is so uptight his last bout of flatulence burst his eardrum.

Mr. Will, as I’m sure Mrs. Will refers to him, wrote an opinion piece published yesterday. The subject of the essay was the amendment of the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) — the sixty-word piece of drivel sold to Congress in 2001 by Dubya as a non-binding resolution whereupon he promptly proceeded to bind us into two wars that continue to this day.

But I digress…back to Mr. Will’s op ed. Mr. Will spends much time and effort secreting a rather frothy tale of verisimilitude and it takes him until the penta-ultimate paragraph to write these words:

The last 11 years have been filled with hard learning. The 2003 invasion of Iraq, the worst foreign policy decision in U.S. history, coincided with mission creep (“nation building”) in Afghanistan. (Emphasis my own.)

I applaud Mr. Will for publicly saying and admitting what the rest of us have known for a decade, but it is unceremoniously buried so deep in the piece few of the fringe troglodytes will trudge deep enough to lay witness to the blasphemy of their sainted George Will. You know what they say, where there’s a Will, there’s always a cold, pasty, stiff guy who’s got something to say.

A British Boo Boo from the House of Honey

Young Luna with a better photographer than a sonogram...

Young Luna with a better photographer than a sonogram…

Honey Boo Boo move over. Amanda Collins, 28, took “beauty pageant mom” to the next level or maybe all the way to the basement. Earlier this year Ms. Collins entered her daughter Luna in Britain’s UK Princess and Prince International competition. Her entry was based entirely on an ultrasound scan at the ripe old age of 20 weeks. Said Amanda, “As soon as I saw her image on the screen…I knew she was a stunner.”

Contest officials accepted the application based upon the ultrasound scan and named Luna the runner-up in the pageant. Luna received her crown six weeks after she had previously more formally crowned.

Here’s your $21,000

Angry taxpayers and retail customers sometimes protest their debt by paying the bill with containers of coins (especially pennies), but what if a company did that to a customer? A court earlier this year ruled that Adriana’s Insurance Services in Rancho Cucamonga, California, (love the name) had unjustifiably ejected and assaulted a 74-year-old from its offices. Mr. Andres Carrasco had complained about a canceled policy and it didn’t sit well with the folks at Adriana’s Insurance and they forcibly ousted him from their offices.

The court ordered Adriana’s to pay Mr. Carrasco about $21,000. In August, the still-irritated and decidedly unneighborly company dropped off at least 16 buckets full of coinage at Mr. Carrasco’s lawyer’s office. Obviously Adriana’s was hoping Mr. Carrasco would “change”.

Bring Enough to Share

Ms. Ashley Tull, 30, was arrested in Selbyville, Delaware, for teaching her daughter to over-share. It seems Ms. Tull dropped her 4-year-old daughter off at the Hickory Tree Child Care Center and her daughter promptly began sharing small individually wrapped baggies of heroin with her classmates. It was going to be “a party” since the girl’s backpack contained over 200 baggies of heroin.

Smoking is Injurious to Your Health

A man in Aurora, Colorado, suffered life-threatening injuries on October 26 when, as he backed out of his driveway, his front driver’s side tire ran over his head. He had jumped out the driver’s side door to avoid a lit cigarette that had fallen into his jacket. As he fell, he landed underneath the driver’s door as the van continued slowly in reverse. If it is any consolation, afterward the jacket didn’t need pressing.

Fokken A as in Amsterdam

Amsterdam's Red Light District after dark

Amsterdam’s Red Light District after dark

Martine and Louise Fokkens are 71-year-old sisters. They retired after their careers spanning some 50 years. Their careers? The sisters were prostitutes in Amsterdam. (“Fokkens” is their “stage” name, supposedly loosely translated as “old whores” in Dutch.)

Louise has not worked since 2010 because of arthritis (no word on whether it was a chronic work-related condition), but both Louise and Martine appeared in a 2012 documentary. Both appeared in an interview last month with the Jewish news agency JTA where they complained about Amsterdam’s “working girls” are now all foreign and young, and the clients are tourists instead of the steady local clientele. No word on exactly why the Jewish news agency was interested in the ladies’ kvetching.

Conservative Media Makes You Stooopid

 

Love a Good Survival Story

 

Have a great weekend and take this conversation in whatever direction you may so desire.

 

Happy Friday Widdershin friends. Here’s hoping your Friday is going better than John Boehner’s Thursday went, but then again, it would have to be better.

Sad Boehner

There are some days when these posts just write themselves. This is one of those days. Given my pronounced lack of imagination, there is no way I could come up with the storyline of the last twenty-four hours in the House of Representatives. And given the outrageous turn of events, neither could the writers of House of Cards, Game of Thrones, or for that matter, Veep. Yesterday for John Boehner was a real FUBAR — fudged up beyond all recognition.

Imagine for a moment, it was the first day for your new management team given Eric Cantor’s defeat in last month’s Virginia primary. If you are John Boehner, you have a new Republican Majority Leader in Kevin McCarthy and a new Majority Whip in Steve Scalise. While it was their first day on the job, it was also their last day before their 5-week August recess/vacay.

Just the day before, Boehner had passed legislation enabling him to sue the President for his “lawlessness” in signing Executive Orders. All the House had to do was pass a simple watered-down bill to address that pesky refugee problem on the southern border and then it was off for some much deserved R&R for being the least productive Congress in history. What could go wrong?

Emboldened and hearing the call of the sun to bring back that irradiated orange glow, Boehner even held a press conference to say of that pesky refugee problem, “Congress must act because it is better to do something than do nothing.” Then fifteen minutes later — fifteen minutes — John Boehner and his newly minted leadership team did nothing — they pulled the bill. And to add further humiliation, members of the House blamed the President saying he should deal with the problem through executive authority. This after having voted less than 24-hours previously to sue him for using executive authority.

Sneaky Ted Cruz2How could all this happen? Look no further than that meddlesome Canadian, nee Texan, Ted Cruz. It seems as though Cruz held a pizza party for the Tea Party types on Wednesday night and played the game, How Mean Can We Be to Children (or UACs in the vernacular, standing for “Unaccompanied Children” because to actually say children is quite unseemly). Cruz, a McCain proclaimed wacko bird, has once again infused himself in the do-nothing Tea Party caucus as some phantom Speaker to purposefully and needlessly blow-up the process but for no other reason than self-aggrandizement.

Of course Ted Cruz isn’t a solo act. He is acting at the behest of the Heritage Foundation and cheerleaders like Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard. You know — the same intellectual jug heads who brought us the Iraq War, the government shutdown, Iran war mongering, and constant caterwauling for military intervention in Syria, Libya, and the Ukraine.

So what does Cruz want for all this mischief? He wants the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) implemented by Obama to be repealed. DACA allows children, who were brought here by no act of their own and have been here since 2007, to apply for temporary relief from deportation and work permits. Operative words: Apply for temporary relief.

These children, knowing no other country than the U.S. and who are Americans by all accounts except those on paper, are innocent victims in all this. They broke no laws. They were brought here by their parents. Many have enlisted in the armed services and served with distinction.

But innocence is no inoculation to being used as a pawn for the political maneuvering of Cruz and the thirty to forty Tea Children in Holding CellPartiers who are causing all these problems. If for a moment these intellectual pygmies could see through the miasma of hate for these “others,” they would realize their actions will brand them as nothing more than the “deportation party.“ They want to deport, without a hearing, the thousands of children who have found their way north from Central America and for good measure, additionally deport hundreds of thousands of children who have grown up American whose only sin are to have parents who wanted them. In their Tea Party lexicon written by Frank Luntz, deportation has become “reuniting children with their parents in their home country.”

After the drubbing Mitt Romney took in the 2012 election, the Republican Party realized in their autopsy report they had to come to grips with immigration. What the RNC never seemed to fathom is something has to be dead to perform an autopsy. In the wake of that report, the Senate passed a comprehensive bipartisan immigration bill, but it still sits growing moss in the House of Representatives. Now with thousands of children sitting in the balance, John Boehner has once again fallen victim to the maniacal machinations of the self-serving Ted Cruz.

Why is this happening? A year and a half ago we said on these pages that impeachment would be the Republican bumper sticker rallying cry for these midterm elections. The Boehner lawsuit is the first step in the process. Cruz knows with money running out for the care and housing of these refugee children, Obama will have to act and therefore, Executive Orders concerning immigration will become the predicate for yet another trumped-up impeachment circus.

Unaccompanied-Minors-Chart1-640x748Once again these radical conservatives may have gone too far though. Just this week the Public Religion Institute released a poll finding 70% of Americans support aiding the refugee children as we determine who qualifies to stay in the U.S. Only 26% support summary deportation. Even George Will in all his crotchety, “get off my lawn” lily-white translucency is in favor of giving these children safe haven from the war lords, drug cartels, and sex traffickers.

Even if the House acts today at some point, the outcome will be more punitive than charitable, more xenophobic than tolerant, and certainly more politically calculated than generous in spirit. Not to worry, Ted Cruz playing “Slow White” to the thirty “intellectual dwarfs” of the Tea Party will have fled the stage leaving in his wake the telltale signs of mean-spiritedness, vengefulness, and the suffering of child refugees just to make sure we know he played his part.

As a people, we are better than that — or at least some of us are.

This is an open thread.

Morning Widdershins, since Good Friday is also known as Great Friday, here’s hoping your day is both.

The legal and political commentary on this week’s Supreme Court cases has been about as helpful as life insurance ads inWe the people... an airline Sky Mall magazine — untimely, a bit scary, and a waste of resources, but otherwise they were a plucky bit of marketing for the Ralph Reeds, Tony Perkinses, and Gary Bauers of the world who will eagerly raise money off the issue.

While these two Supreme Court cases are important, they are also instructive as a barometer on where we are as a country. Along with these marriage equality cases, two very disparate things got me thinking about this — a talk radio NRA caller and yet another state passing so-called “religious freedom” legislation.

The talk radio NRA caller was bemoaning the fact that he had been delayed by almost an hour because of a background check. He was righteously irate in that his constitutional right to own an AR-15 was delayed by almost a whole sixty minutes. Of course, the blubbering walrus (take your pick, fill-in a name) radio host was also appropriately barking indignation.

Contrast that to the reasoning of marriage equality opponents who were counseling delay not measured in hours, but years by not going too far too fast. It seems even the liberal Justices are somewhat reticent citing the “Roe v. Wade lesson” of the inadvisability of acting too broadly and too precipitously. These “outcome fears” joined with the spaghetti salad of delaying excuses will likely postpone a sweeping decision granting full equality.

Justice Delayed is Justice DeniedIf this is the environment in which our “justice” is now measured, we have all lost. Simply put, “Justice delayed is justice denied.” Too often we as a people believe that “justice” is such an amorphous concept it can’t be measured, but that is wrong. Justice can be measured in the days, months, or years of its denial. When the purveyors at the highest echelons begin to worry about the delivery of justice because of the outcry and opinion of those who are not affected, we have all lost.

Overlay upon these facts, the American Family Foundation movement to pass “religious freedom” legislation. So far it has passed in some 17 states. What this legislation does is to allow citizens to ignore any law that runs counter to their “sincerely held religious beliefs unless there is a compelling governmental interest.“ Read the rest of this entry »

Morning Widdershin friends, here’s hoping your day is a great one.

Today’s post is going to be a smorgasbord of mishmashed minutiae. Think of it as spring cleaning in the Prolix Pantry — sorry if some of these are beyond their expiration date.

Ron’s boy Rand

Sen. Rand Paul won the straw poll at the annual CPAC convention, or as former McCain Presidential Campaign ManagerRon and Rand Steve Schmidt calls it, the political equivalent of the Star Wars bar scene. Rand was coming off his best Jimmy Stewart impersonation of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington with his chatty thirteen-hour howdy-do in the Senate. His filibluster was on the esoteric, seemingly weed inspired college dorm chatter of drones being used against Americans on American soil. In my opinion it is quite ironic since Rand’s thirteen hour word salad constituted a “droning” of the U.S. Capitol — no word yet on whether it was weed inspired.

As you will notice, Ron’s boy is getting loads of new-found complimentary press. Lots of this newly found tolerance for the Tea Party darling is because of his droning on about drones. As you will surely read more about this in the months ahead, just remember that Rand is the same guy who wants to “zero out” foreign aid to Israel, drastically cut the military, doesn’t believe private businesses should have to serve people of color, decriminalize drugs, return to the “gold standard” by abandoning the Federal Reserve, and is someone who created his own professional association of which he is the only member.

Rand is a true RINO since he’s a Libertarian. As you read these glowing press accounts, remember there’s a whole lot of crazy just below the surface — in keeping with his once held position on border security where he wanted to bury an electric fence under the border. A friend of mine suggested his plan was to send blinged-out electronic dog collars to Mexico — a riff on the ATF’s Fast and Furious Program, only called Fierce and Furry.

The Big Dog Barks

It seems as though Bill and Hillary are lobbying for another candidate other than Ashley Judd to take on Mitch McConnell, the senior tortoise from Kentucky. The person is Alison Lundergan Grimes, the current 33-year old Secretary of State.

Hillary 2016Why would the Big Dog care? Ms. Grimes is the daughter of Jerry Lundergan, an old Kentucky pol who is a longtime friend and supporter of both Bill and Hillary. Jerry is in the catering business and just so happened to cater Chelsea’s wedding.

Bill feels strongly that Ashley Judd is not the person to take on McConnell given all the national press this race will receive. Bill feels it could imperil other Senate races by tainting other challengers as too liberal since the McConnell race will be the “Kentucky Derby of Senate Races” in 2014.

The reason I mention this story: Could this be the first move in clearing a rather obstinate and persistent Congressional obstacle before President Hillary Clinton’s inauguration in 2017? Bill has no match in thinking years ahead in the strategic game of political chess.

George and Antonin’s Bromance

This one is what I call a “listen for.” A “listen for” indicates a way of thought, a predilection, a personality trait — it is a poker “tell.” I’ve noticed a correlation between the crazy talk coming from Justice Scalia during high-profile Supreme Court arguments and close in time articles written by the human Möbius strip George Will.

For instance, both the “Cornhusker kickback” comment on the Affordable Care Act and the “voting entitlement” Mortimer Snerdcomment in the recent Voting Rights Act case were both the cancerous gist of previous Will columns and also the languid folderol of Scalia during oral arguments. Last week, Will wrote a column based upon a whopper — if it had been Olympic season, it would have easily had gold hanging around its neck.

The column was one where Will called into question the lack of studies around the issue of same-sex marriage. (For the record, of the 40 studies having been conducted, Zero demonstrated any adverse effect.)

It was typical Will fodder — a subtle argument masking a larger agenda. In this instance, Will used this perceived lack of research to cover his larger agenda of trying to cast the same-sex marriage cases in terms of a “Supreme Court finding” of an inherent Constitutional privacy right for same-sex marriage. Without getting all constitutional, the case before the Court is about equal protection — to take it to the level Will espoused is a Herculean climb that would not have the votes on the Court and therefore surely fail.

Let’s see if this little theory holds that Antonin is George’s Supreme Court “Mortimer Snerd” by his parroting of this ridiculous argument. We should know by this time next week.

s-WESTBORO-EQUALITY-HOUSE-154x114Westboro Baptist Church’s Zip Code is             6-6-6-0-4

In reading about the new neighbor of the Westboro Baptist Church, the rainbow painted Planting Peace Equality House dedicated to anti-bullying, I found that little bit of kismet. Pretty rich.

This is an “all skate” open thread.


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Kellyanne Conway’s new job

Take the kids to work? NO!

That moment when *your* pussy gets grabbed

You go gurl! h/t Adam Joseph

“The” Book

Nice picture of our gal

Time till the Grifter in Chief is Gone

Hopefully soonerJanuary 21st, 2021
2.3 years to go.

Mueller Time!

Wise Words from Paul Ryan

B-I-N-G-O!

Only the *best* politicans bought by the NRA

Marching for their lives

Perfect Picture

Rudy: oh shit the pee tape IS real!

Need Reminders?

Never too early to shop for Christmas

“Look this way”

Manafort’s Jail Photo

Indeed who?

Trump spam

IOW Dumb = Happy?

Simply Put

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