The Widdershins

Posts Tagged ‘Rand Paul

We need some happy-making news after Tuesday night – especially given the insufficient information being peddled by the media.  Contrary to all reports, there is no cause for a major-go-to-pieces.  Allow me to explain.Marching Penguins

Last week I was reading something or other and there was a discussion of the changes in the New Hampshire electorate.  There has been an influx of about 78,000 tax-loathing Bay Staters into New Hampshire.  Combine that with 37,500 migrants from other New England states and you have a dramatically changed electorate from 2008 when Hillary won the state.  Strike One:  New voters.

That particular tidbit led me to investigate just who voted and how they voted.  Finding this information wasn’t easy since overturning these rocks extinguish the narrative of unstoppable “Bernie-mentum”.

When you do the CSI on the vote in New Hampshire, it is clear what happened.  Bernie and Hillary essentially split the traditional Democratic votes.  Bernie’s winning margin was with Independents who are allowed to pick-a-party the day of the election.  Bernie won Independents 72% to 27% for Hillary.

So what Prolix, a vote is a vote isn’t it?  Yes, but only in New Hampshire’s contrarian voting scheme.  It doesn’t work that way in traditional Democratic primaries.  All told, if not for these Independents, Hillary would have most likely won New Hampshire.  Strike Two:  Hillary would have won.

Hillary dancingAs Nate Silver has explained, this portion of Bernie’s support is very similar to the Ron Paul supporter of 2008.  These voters slipped their leash when Rand Paul took a powder and withdrew from this year’s primary.  These homeless voters subsequently found their way into Bernie’s kennel.  Simply put:

Exit polls suggest that this group of formerly Ron Paul voters helped push Sanders to his victory in New Hampshire, and without them, he would have been in a dead heat or possibly even lost to Clinton.

This finding was only reported by one other source, ABC News:

About 4 in 10 voters in both the Democratic and Republican primaries said they identify as Independents, and their support made a big difference on the Democratic side. Seven in 10 Independents supported Sanders, while Democrats were evenly split between the two candidates.

There is one other issue integral to an understanding of what has happened in Iowa and New Hampshire.  Wake up the cat, this is important.

Bernie’s entire premise in running – the keystone of his campaign – is to foment a revolution.  Without a revolution, admits Bernie, nothing he talks about has a hairbreadth’s chance of success.

Bernie continually talks about, continually harangues about, voter turnout as a leading indicator of the impending revolution.  He incessantly talks about record-breaking voter turnout.  Trouble is, it’s the Republicans who are having record-breaking turnout.  Democratic turnout is down from 2008.

To stress the understanding of this fact, I repeat, Democratic turnout is down from 2008.  Turnout in Iowa was down by about 60,000 from 2008 (236,000 vs. 171,000) and turnout in New Hampshire was down by about 40,000 (288,000 vs. 251,000).Penguins Running and Jumping

This is very important.  If Bernie, in the second and third most liberal states, with an overwhelmingly white and young electorate, can’t excite voters to the point of revolutionary frenzy, then where is he going to do it?  Put another way:

The argument is that Sanders’ unique appeal can help him in small, unrepresentative states, but… being iconoclastic is good for art and fashion, but perhaps not so great for winning the popularity contests known as elections.

The heavy reliance on young voters and independents could suggest that the Sanders campaign is not doing a good job convincing loyal Democrats, the kind of people who have been steadily donating and voting for many election cycles. These are the folks that get demonized as “establishment” and might not be thrilled to vote for someone who, as Clinton warned, has a small army of supporters who suggest that everyone who doesn’t get on board is just a corrupt stooge or just pretending to be liberal.

Strike Three:  Bernie will lose — not just badly, but by antediluvian standards.

To sum it up, it is always wrong, everywhere, and for anyone to spread stories based upon insufficient information.  There are no exceptions for reporters or political candidates.  This is particularly true if they are colluding in telling only half the story — the self-serving part.  So, NH WTF?

 

Have a great Thursday and take the discussion in any direction the winds of your interest might blow.

Tuesday night’s debate defined a new term for me – helicopter child.  It seemed as though Marco Rubio never allowed ten seconds to elapse without mentioning his Cuban parents.  His ancestry hovers with drone-like precision over just about everything he says.  His helicopter childishness also extends to his sugar daddy, billionaire Sheldon Adelson, the Macau casino magnate. Out a Time

But Rubio has skills.  He’s glib, well-rehearsed, well-trained in the ways of the media since that unfortunate hydration incident, and just ethnic enough without scaring the white folks to get to that magical, but illusive 40% Hispanic vote.

Unless he is kneecapped by the other immigrant hating Cuban/Canadian Ted Cruz, Rubio could be the nominee.  Even if he isn’t, he previewed the Republican theme for 2016 – this election is about the future.

The future – a noun meaning things that are yet to come – things that have not yet happened – things that are unseen and surprising.  Let’s take a quick look at how unsurprising the future looks to these Republicans.

The future economic plan of Republicans is to once again cut taxes on the rich and corporations, end all semblance of regulation, and sit back and watch the good times roll.  Let’s see, that’s been tried again and again and it has worked exactly – NEVER.

The future of monetary regulation is to tie our currency to a gold standard once again.  Now that’s a plan, abolish the Federal Reserve and empower Glenn Beck and the gold coin peddlers to set the world’s currency rates.

The future of energy regulation is no regulation and abolition of all green energy initiatives.  As Rand Paul so eloquently stated, we should be burning more coal – a technology first utilized 3,000 years ago.

Time Travelers WifeThe future of reproductive rights is the abolition of Planned Parenthood and women’s health clinics wherever their sinning ways are condoned.  The rosy future painted in the Republican world is one where lucky women have only marriage sanctioned sex, in the missionary position, with loving, providing husbands as if their lives depended on it – because without exceptions to abortion it does.

The future of the IRS is somewhere between Cruz’ postcard and the three pages of the Fiorina plan.  These conservative cockle-warming ideas essentially move all revenue production – every last cent – to the backs of workers.  The talk of a flat tax on business is nothing more than a politically palatable name for a value added tax on consumable goods, meaning, businesses will pay absolutely nothing.

The future of environmental regulation is repealing any action taken by Obama on clean water, clean air, or land management.  While on the way to this Republican idyllic dystopian nightmare, we will be required to burn effigies of Richard Nixon – the President who first signed environmental legislation.
Edge of Tomorrow 2

The future of our foreign policy is more action and less talking.  In fact, there will be no foreign policy only a trillion dollars in military expenditures.  When we create that military, everyone will love us or we will invade them, take their oil, disband their government, dismantle their social institutions, and install a new government to our liking.  Wait, that sounds vaguely familiar.

The Republican future means repealing healthcare reform and consumer protection.  That is a future where it will be easier to go bankrupt when you get sick without hampering the unsung heroes of the free market – debt collectors.

That’s a small sampling of the future according to those who aspire to be the Republican Presidential nominee.  Here’s my hope – I hope the eventual nominee is articulate, tireless, and robust in his advocacy of this Republican inspired future.  It will just make it all the easier for Hillary – just think of all the ads inspired by Back to the Future.

Enjoy your Thursday and take the conversation in any direction you might like.

 

 

The term “straw man” isn’t a reference to Ray Bolger’s character in The Wizard of Oz, but for purposes of this post, his quote is quite appropriate, “Some people without brains do an awful lot of talking?”Scarecrow

In the vernacular, a straw man argument is a sham argument set up to be defeated, but in the legal world, a straw man has specific meaning.  Straw men are essentially conduits used to keep the underlying facts of a transaction hidden.  Straw men have no real interest in a transaction, but are merely passive stand-ins for the real party in interest who is secretly controlling the action from behind the scenes – the wizard behind the curtain.

Last weekend there was a conclave of straw men and the organizations they live to serve.  It was the Kochapalooza at the palatial St. Regis at Dana Point, California.  It held all the pomp and circumstance of a very upscale wedding.  Only registered “Stepford-like attendees” were allowed access and even then, cell phones were confiscated and hulking men with earphones kept a watchful Cycloptic eye on the 450 attendees.

While reporters were seriously embargoed in what they could report, it became apparent that the Kochtopus is fiercely trying to “rebrand itself”.  At the same time, all the iterations of the Koch machine are on a serious steroid binge – in fact, it seems as if the Kochtopus ate the steroid factory and its tentacles are going to be longer and stronger next year.  2016 will be the year of the Kochtopus.

The St. Regis

The St. Regis

The St. Regis presidential beauty pageant consisted of Carly Fiorina, Scott Walker, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Jeb! Bush. Rand Paul is the only one who turned down the invitation.  It really doesn’t matter if the Kochs have a favorite in the race since the Koch affiliated groups have almost a Billion Dollars to spread around.  A single, stand alone super PAC has over $100,000,000.00 to spend.

While it is easy – almost like shooting Kochtopi in a barrel – to be critical of the Brothers Koch, the problem is larger than just them.  For the first time in more than a century, the majority of funding for a presidential election is coming in six-figure or larger checks from corporations and the wealthiest Americans.  The 2016 campaign will be an exercise in speed dating 500 big-ticket billionaires who are not bothered in the least about being deeply adored and reverently worshiped by sycophantic politicians.

Overall, super PACs raised $314 million through the end of June, compared with just $26 million at the same time in 2011. More than 500 donors have given at least $100,000, for a total of $238 million — 75 percent all super PAC donations.kochtopus

While all the candidates have their sugar daddies, there is no better example of the egregious nature of these political vampire squids than the super PAC of creepy Ted Cruz.   Seventy-one percent of his super PAC and campaign fundraising come from big donors, almost all of it from just three multi-million-dollar contributors: $15 million from the fracking Wilks family, $11 million from New York hedge fund executive Robert Mercer, and $10 million from Texas private equity investor Toby Negeubauer.

Iowa and New Hampshire, along with other early primary states, no longer have any real relevance.  So long as a candidate continues to stir the loins of their billionaire bubalas, they are good to go.  It’s hard to see how anyone gets put in timeout as long as they have millions in mad money.

And here’s a frightening statistic:  Over the last two years and as of May 06, 2015, 1,360 groups organized as super PACs have reported total receipts of $696,011,919.00.

When the Supreme Court upended the system of campaign finance by equating money with speech in Citizens United, they defensively emphasized the disinfecting sunlight of disclosure.  Of course, the fulcrum of that argument is Congress passing laws to mandate disclosure.  This is where the conservatives on the Court couldn’t have been “wronger”.  First, there must be the political will in Congress to disinfect the system through disclosure.  That political will does not exist nor will it exist as long as contribution addicted politicians get their mainline fix through PACs.

Pay no attentionTo cull the straw men from the power-hungry in this super PAC morality play, it would require a character study no less intricate than that of Cassius and Brutus in Julius Caesar.  Cassius, recognizing the motivations of others, and Brutus being malleably naive, were both destroyed by consequences of their making with ultimately the status quo being considered the victor.

Until such a rich narrative plays out, we will just have to be suffer like the Scarecrow, “with lots of talking by those without much in the way of brains”.

Be sure and download your scorecard for tomorrow night’s debate and please feel free to take this conversation in any direction you want to explore.

Have you ever received a large denomination gift card from a place at which you would never, ever, not in a million years, darken the doors?  You can’t regift because no one you know would ever shop there and to boot, you hate to shop.

About ten years ago, I was given a large gift card from Cabela’s.  I don’t hunt, fish, trap, or otherwise find myself aroused at the thought of proving my manhood by inflicting pain upon sensate beings with brains the size of peas.  Call me crazy, I just can’t bring myself to kill for pleasure, but what to do with the two hundred, fifty dollar gift card?

Inside a Cabela's...

Inside a Cabela’s…

If you don’t know, Cabela’s is quite the experience.  Every once living creature has been stuffed and taxidermied into an eternal, glassy-eyed stare, not unlike the look given when Sarah Palin is asked, “What magazines do you enjoy?”

Staring eye-to-eye with a stuffed bipedal polar bear in a frozen state of hors d’oeuvre salivation is not my idea of a fun shopping excursion, but I had that gift card burning a hole in my pocket.  And so I shopped, randomly selecting things with reckless abandon since it didn’t cost me a thing.  There was no consequence to my actions – it was a legalized “drive-by looting” with a $250.00 cap.  It didn’t hurt me, it didn’t hurt the animals, and it was a free space in the great capitalist continuum.

That is exactly what is happening on the historic Iran nuclear deal.  The Republican presidential hordes, along with the Republican congressional swarm of pitchfork wielders, have a free space – it costs nothing for them to roll around on the floor gnashing their chompers for all to witness.  They can pander, aggrandize, exaggerate, and disassemble.  They can appeal to the basic instincts of the peacock-brained crowd.  Reckless abandon doesn’t cost them a thing.  Having an iota of expectation for them beyond that is the equivalent of believing Cabela’s will soon be a petting zoo.  Ain’t gonna happen.

Either inside a Cabela's or the mind of a Neo-con...who knows?

Either inside a Cabela’s or the mind of a Neo-con…who knows?

As I listen to the likes of Tom Cotton, who, after thirty-seven minutes in the Senate, was cued-up to denounce the agreement two nanoseconds after it was announced, I hear Rumsfeldian double-speak.  Cotton, unburdened by not having read a word of the agreement, is enigmatic of the voices who banged the drum for invading Iraq in 2002 and 2003.  Then there’s Lady Lindsey almost tripping over a malfunctioning hoop skirt to declare in full breathless vapors, “I do declare this is the unkindest thing that cad who calls himself Obama has ever done.”  Then there’s Jeb! the always excitable boy who declared, “No one should ever make deals with dictators!”  He should know from bargaining with dictators since he is genetically programmed to do so given both his father and brother did that exact thing when they were the Bushes potted at 1600.

I won’t even try to get into the nuance and minutiae of the agreement since like all climate change denying Republicans, “I’m not a scientist.”  What I am is a “long-memoried librul” who finds utter disgust in hearing the same “mushroom cloud, me Tarzan, them Jane, testosterone-infused, horse hockey” last heard thirteen years ago when we waltzed into a quagmire costing perhaps a half million lives and wasting three trillion dollars.

Iran Uranium enrichment

Boil the criticisms of these clowns down to the nubbins and what you have is, “If I was the President, I could have gotten a better deal,” a logic like, “If a bullfrog had wings he wouldn’t bump his ass each time he jumped.”  Most of these jokers have never negotiated a used car, but they somehow believe somewhere hidden in their hubris lies a shrewd negotiator capable of besting Putin, the Chinese, the Iranians, Germany, France, Great Britain, and the EU all at once.  Let’s just say these “wannabe” stellar negotiators won’t be driving off with any new floor mats in their 1972 Gremlins and Chevettes.

There are loads of articles explaining the deal here, here, here, and here.  There is none better than this one, explaining the sheer folly of those who, as they did with Iraq, believe bringing Iran to heel will merely take a couple of bombing missions and we can call it good in a matter of hours.  Remember when Darth Cheney said we would be greeted as Iraq liberators with flowers at our feet?  Well, he and his ilk are again proclaiming, “The only bad war is one we haven’t yet started.”

Iran reducing Uranium Stockpile

These war-lusting ninnies believe if they say it in their hermetically sealed conference rooms at the Heritage Foundation, it will suddenly be made so in the sands of the Middle East.  Their inanity exterminated the only counter-balancing top line predator in the region, thereby unleashing the hegemonic wiles of the hard-line, America-hating, Iranian Shiite mullahs.

Unlike the run up to the Iraq War, if there is one good byproduct in this whole episode, it is that Netanyahu can’t depend upon the mouths of Bushites to call for war.  There is no corner in the Oval Office in which Bebe can hide this time – he has to be the one out front saying, “America, I have another little errand for which I need to borrow your military and your treasury.”  Netanyahu is overplaying his hand when a majority of Americans want a negotiated deal.

Iran Nuclear facilities allowed to operate

Next year I hope the voters remember the Republicans who tried to give us an Iranian gift card and convince us it was a free space without consequence.  Losing untold lives and trillions of dollars has a tendency to leave scars – we best remember their cause.

As always, your thoughts on any subject are encouraged and welcomed.

 

For you city folk, there is a rural phenomenon where a dog will actually chase a car.  Crazy, I know, but it happens.  People have always tried to explain why dogs chase cars, but outside the thought bubbles of Snoopy no dogs have commented.  One thing I do know, catching a car by a car chasing dog leaves everyone scratching their heads.  What happens then?dog and car 2

This is the same conundrum facing Republicans these days.  They might be on the cusp of being “the dog what caught the car” on any number of issues.  Let’s review.

First and foremost, there’s the Supreme Court case of King v. Burwell where the ACA is on the chopping block courtesy of a simple legislative drafting error.  There’s Donald Trump’s “word salading” a run for the Republican presidential nomination.  Then there’s the winnowing down of the Republican field being outsourced to the Republican media operation of Fox News.  In addition, there’s the dissing of Pope Francis over his encyclical regarding climate change.  Add to that immigration, the environment, same-sex marriage, birth control, sex education, abortion, infrastructure spending, STEM education, or any number of other issues – take your pick – and the Grand Old Party is pre-diluvian in its positions and thinking.

If the Supreme Court violates the judicial keystone of upholding legislative deference to the executive branch in terms of implementing legislation, the resulting “major go-to-pieces” represented by the King case could go a long way in flipping both the House and the Senate.  Remarkably, two-thirds of those who stand to lose insurance subsidies live in Republican districts.

obamacare_worst_case scenarioThere are those on the Left who secretly hope the Supreme Court does get its conservative activism robes in a bunch and rule against Obamacare.  Polling suggests a majority of Americans want Congress to fix what is, in essence, little more than a grammatical error.

The resulting Republican stalemate over health care would be a Fort Sumter-esque first shot of an especially bloody civil war over what to do.  Ted Cruz and Rand Paul would be tripping over their respective high-heeled cowboy boots to filibuster any fix. Vulnerable Republicans would be caught with their “subsidies down”.  Mitch McConnell’s frustration would mean his world-class frown wouldn’t end until just below his kneecaps.

As for Donald Trump and his ongoing rant about his fellow candidates, the Republican Party has not a soul to blame, not a soul, but themselves.  It was all well and good to encourage “the Donald” as long as he was in search of a Kenyan birth certificate, but now his antics are being described as dangerous and delusional.  A trained seal knows from whence his fish comes and Trump’s same old tricks are golden when it comes to headline grabbing.Trump 2

Trump also knows the first commandment of political hucksterism, always attack upward.  His shots at Jeb! (to be read with emphasis), Rubio, and Walker are nothing but precursors of what his performance will be if he gets on a debate stage.  Now that will be must-see-teevee.

Speaking of the Republican debates, there is no better example of the dog catching the car.  With Fox being nothing more than the communications arm of the national Republican Party, Prince Priebus has deigned it acceptable for Fox and Roger Ailes to pick winners and losers in the GOP debate lottery.  Messaging and chronic indignation has always fostered a marriage of convenience between the GOP and Fox, but now the parenting skills of the “debate babies” are causing massive marital discord.

When you are likely to have twenty candidates and try to limit the debate to only ten candidates, you have just as many candidates off stage as on the stage (that is the extent of my mathematical skills).  Such an arrangement fosters plenty of sound bites for the disgruntled.  If you can’t organize a debate, how on earth are you going to organize the dismantling of the federal government while at the same time increasing defense spending and reducing taxes?

dog drivingThen there’s the problem of resolving the differences between the encyclicals of Pope Francis and the Brothers Koch.  The Pope sees climate change as real and the Brothers Koch have declared it whimsically imaginary.  The difference between the two schools of thought is punctuated by about a billion dollars in Koch contributions siphoned through a web of front organizations.

Trouble is:  More and more people, particularly those declaring an affinity toward religiosity, believe as does the Pope – we should be good stewards of our planet.  This presents a particular problem for those demonstrating a proclivity for sucking on the tailpipe of the Koch political machine.  You can’t exactly proclaim moral superiority when your morals are dictated by choosing the Brothers Koch as your ethical higher power.

We could go further in our metaphorical analysis, but there is no need.  Just like an angry dog, the “Party of No” has forgotten that just exhibiting unfocused anger leads not to a logical conclusion, but to general confusion. dog biting car

Just like a tantrum throwing two-year old, the anger of the Tea Party and the ultra-conservative base has fostered no sensible Republican policy alternatives short of pants wetting.  There’s something karmic about promoting calculated inaction resulting in unneeded suffering and then that inaction resulting in self-inflicted pain. Just ask any car chasing dog – all you get when you are successful is a sore, flat head.

I hope your Friday is a good one and I’ll be back tomorrow with a cavalcade of the ridiculous for your perusal.  Take the conversation in any direction you may desire.

 

 

 

Take the rest of the week off.  What a week!  I mean really – what dyspepsia of the news gods has produced this amalgam of dysfunction?

Sunday was the epitome of insider cat fighting.  You had the Majority Leader of the Senate calling his fellow “stater” a demagogue and in the most granular way violating the Kentucky motto of, “United we stand, divided we fall.”  Well, both McTurtle and Randall busted their arses by falling and failing on Sunday.Rand and Mitch one day ago

McTurtle overestimated his ability to run out the clock in the Senate by refusing to take up the Patriot Act sooner; thereby, opening himself to scathing criticism.  Randall, Ron’s son, demonstrated just how close to the tree the nut can fall.  Shamelessly, Randall turned the Senate into a backdrop for his latest shameless campaign shakedown of the “black helicopter, cannabis crowd” for contributions with a television ad declaring “when government illegally collected our phone records, Rand Paul took a stand, defended our rights, and stopped them.”

Young Randall’s shenanigans guaranteed he was in the crosshairs of the Republican death squads.  The acid pen of Jennifer Rubin summed it up quite nicely:

[T]he incident should remind Americans, and Republicans specifically, how dangerous and irresponsible the junior Kentucky senator can be — and how poorly suited is his temperament for the job as president of the United States. His persistent attacks on the motives of his fellow Americans and penchant for moral preening don’t sit well when coming from President Obama; they will not be any more tolerable coming from Rand Paul.

What is clear is that Paul has chosen to be an inflammatory acolyte of his father, not a serious presidential contender. And it raises anew the question why Kentucky has only one senator who can work constructively and responsibly.

Another event Sunday caught my attention.  I admit, I’m a glutton for punishment when it comes to watching the Sunday gab fests, particularly Faux News Sunday.  It is pretty much getting the inside scoop on the enemy’s thinking while increasing my decidedly lazy heart rate.  Last Sunday was a treat.

brit humeNeera Tanden, President of the Center for American Progress, was a guest on the panel and she absolutely schooled that “boil on the butt of a bullfrog”, Brit Hume.  Hume was doing his best to be “fair and balanced in his defense of possible pedophilia” in light of the revelations about Dennis Hastert.  Yes, you read that right – Hume was trying his best to take the edge off of Hastert’s alleged wrongdoing by shifting the focus to the “unwarranted activities” of government investigators.  Never mind the undeniable illegal financial transactions of Hastert or his lying to officials – it had to be someone else’s fault since Hastert is such a good guy, as if alleged pedophiles wear flashing lights or something.

Monday brought us quite the event with someone bursting on the scene with a new-found freedom and finding his voice for something he always wanted to do.  I’m not talking about Caitlyn Jenner, I’m talking about Lindsey Graham announcing, in his best southern snark, that he too would be a “contendah faur President of these United States.” Lindsey Graham

Emboldened after kissing his sister and unable to get through even twenty minutes without dishing snark at Hillary, he opined “he had more military experience than any other candidate in the race” – as if serving in the JAG Corps of the National Guard was a precursor to planning the D-Day invasion.

Tuesday brought us wall-to-wall coverage of FIFA and its many problems.  It has so many problems you’d think it was Illinois and New York politicians running the show.  Sepp Blatter, son of Gall and the father of the diminutive, Tiny, announced his resignation from the international bribery and Ponzi scheme.  Having been just reelected last Friday and resigning on Tuesday, people were convinced Sepp was just an “overactive Blatter”.

planeTuesday also brought us news that every major city now has an FBI counter-terrorist group as well as the FBI having a private domestic air force.  While the counter-terrorism efforts are not surprising, an air force of 115 planes equipped with high-tech cameras, and in some circumstances, technology capable of tracking thousands of cell phones.  These super-snooping Cessnas were tracked orbiting major cities and rural areas in more than 100 flights in 11 states beginning in late April and running through May.  Expect young Randall to insert himself on the end of an FBI runway in the near future.

Of course, the biblical rains hitting Texas have been big news for the past week or so.  What I have found interesting is the lack of coverage on a front that we have all come to expect these days from the religious “ain’t nothing” right.  I have yet to hear one single, solitary television minister proclaim that the Texas rains are “the product of the sinning and sinful ways of Texas”.  Not the case when it was Hurricane Sandy, which we all know was because of the rampant sinning of MTV’s “Jersey Shore.”

Another interesting bit of hypocrisy is that the Canadian-Cuban senator, Ted Cruz, who so derided the aid to the northeast during Sandy, was front and center wondering why the Kenyan-born, Islamic President was dithering on rebuilding Texas.  Logical consistency is so overrated among the top-tier of world-class demagogues.

There’s such mishegas and it is only Wednesday.  Take the conversation in any direction you might like.  Enjoy the craziness.

 

 

 

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.

 


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Mueller Testimony Info

 

  • Date: Wednesday, July 24, 2019
  • Times: (Eastern) 8:30 a.m. – House Judiciary Committee hearing; 12 p.m. – House Intelligence Committee hearing

Blog Archive

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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
18 months 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

Ironic

Awrite! Here’s your damned wall

Dems are coming for ya

NEXT DEMOCRATIC DEBATES

The next set of Democratic debates – 2 nights again, will be July 30th and 31st on CNN.

Not sure of times.

Lineup for Detroit Dem Debates

NIGHT ONE, Tuesday, July 30, 9 pm Eastern each night

  •     Steve Bullock
  •     Pete Buttigieg
  •     John Delaney
  •     John Hickenlooper
  •     Amy Klobuchar
  •     Beto O’Rourke
  •     Tim Ryan
  •     Bernie Sanders
  •     Elizabeth Warren
  •     Marianne Williamson

 

NIGHT TWO, Wednesday, July 31:

  •     Michael Bennet
  •     Joe Biden
  •     Cory Booker
  •     Julián Castro
  •     Bill de Blasio
  •     Tulsi Gabbard
  •     Kirsten Gillibrand
  •     Kamala Harris
  •     Jay Inslee
  •     Andrew Yang

Moderators will be Dana Bash, Don Lemon and Jake Tapper

There’s even info on who stands where but I’m not interested in who is in the center square.

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/07/18/cnn-dnc-pick-second-debate-lineups-1422147