Thursday, March 31, 2016

Things Finally Get Dicey for Donald John Trump

It would appear things are finally getting a tad dicey for Donald John Trump.

Yesterday he inserted his rather large foot into his even more expansive mouth during a televised town hall style event. When Chris Matthews grilled him about abortion, El Donald, after some serious prodding, said if abortion is made illegal, which he now favors, women seeking the procedure should face, "some form of punishment."

After the shit hit the fan on all fronts, Trump quickly clarified his position, issuing a statement which read, if abortion is outlawed, "The doctor, or any other person performing this illegal act upon a woman would be held legally responsible, not the woman." Today a spokesperson for his campaign went on CNN and said it was a simple case of the candidate, "misspeaking."

Trump, who loves to play a mutant version of Popeye--you know--"I yam what I yam and to hell with political correctness," has now held three distinct positions on the right of women to control their bodies. In a 1999 interview he described himself as, "very pro choice." The New York Times reports there is nothing on record of him changing his view until 2011. In February of that year he addressed a meeting of conservative hot shots as he began floating the idea of a presidential run in 2012.

In 2016 he is not only adamantly in favor of criminalizing abortion, but for about five, or six hours yesterday felt it would be proper to jail pregnant women who attempted to secure one. As of today he says he believes only the doctors, or providers should be hit with charges if and when it becomes illegal.

So what brought him to this supreme oops moment? Well he might have taken a look at a couple of those polls he is so fond of.

A recent NY Times/CBS poll shows that in a head to head contest against Hillary Clinton, women prefer the former Secretary of State over him 55% to 35%.

Then it gets worse. A new Washington Post/ABC polls shows 75% of all women view him unfavorably. In fact 67% of everybody sees him the same way. That includes 80% of young adults, 85% of Hispanics, and just under 50% of republicans and republican leaning independents.

Speculation is Trump's grotesque tweet comparing his wife's airbrushed photo to an unflattering one of Heidi Cruz might be, at least partially, behind his sinking numbers in Wisconsin. A Marquette Law School sponsored poll shows Ted Cruz leading in the state a week before its primary by a full 10 points, 40% to 30%. John Kasich, as usual, is third at 21%. The survey was released right before Trump started flip flopping around like a boated tuna on abortion yesterday.

Meanwhile the jockeying continues as the GOP braces itself for the nightmare of a brokered convention. Reports are Marco Rubio is refusing to release any of the delegates he can hang onto in an attempt to either squeeze back into the race, or put himself into the position of king maker when all hell breaks loose in Cleveland.

Cruz is running around busily quoting party rule number 40. It was amended four years ago by the Romney people in the face of Ron Paul's candidacy. It specifies that a candidate must win at least eight states before the convention can even consider him, or her. If the rules committee doesn't change it, John Kasich's name can't be placed in nomination, because that poor sap is never going to get there.

To show how ugly it has gotten Trump, Cruz, and Kasich have all gone back on their written pledges to support whoever wins the republican nomination. Cruz went so far as to tell Jimmy Kimmel if Trump was in his rear view mirror while he was backing up his car, he would have a hard time deciding which pedal to hit with his foot.

This after Trump darkly predicted there would be riots if he wasn't the nominee.

Of course Brother Trump still has the inside track when it comes to reaching the magical number of 1,237 delegates. And in truth, a wild melee in Cleveland might be more a nocturnal fantasy of the media than an actual reality. There are 19 republican primaries left and as of today, Trump is a mere 501 delegates away from the promised land.

The only thing certain at the moment is the republican party looks to be coming apart at the seams right before our eyes. Whether it can heal itself after Trump, or someone else wins the nomination is a question which won't be answered until August and beyond.

sic vita est


Monday, March 28, 2016

Tannerite Blows Up Real Good Part II: The Latest NRA Moment of the Week

A little over a year ago NBC's Jeff Rossen and Jovanna Billington wrote a story about the availability of Tannerite.

For those not addicted to guns and explosions, the name Tannerite might still be unfamiliar. It is sold in what is called a binary brick, or package which separates ammonium nitrate and aluminum powder. When struck by a bullet the two chemicals are forcibly merged, creating an explosive charge which, because of the impact and heat of the round, blows up much to the delight of those individuals who are mentally and emotionally stuck in the sixth grade. If you're a daring sort--a true bad boy--who stacks a whole bunch of it together, it really blows up.

Rossen and Billington pointed out Maryland is the only state in the union which requires people to have an explosives license in order to purchase Tannerite. In every other part of these United States of America any certifiable loon can walk right into, say, a Bass Pro Shop, among other places and buy as much of it as they want.

The FBI has issued vague warnings to retailers about bulk purchases and buyers paying cash for them. There are, after all, people out there who want to do us harm. Just ask Don Trump. However, we all understand no one is going to pay any attention to the Feds when it comes to guns, bullets and the stuff they make blow up. Hey, this is America for God's sake.

In the course of research on the subject  Rossen went to a sporting goods store and bought 40 pounds of Tannerite and no one even blinked an eye. One of his assistants bought the same amount online and had it delivered to his house, no questions asked. The NBC story noted 40 pounds is enough to destroy a good sized house.

When asked for a statement by Billington and Rossen, Tannerite Sports issued a statement which said, "No additional regulations are needed beyond current laws, because the product is safe when used properly." The company also said, "Only girlie men would want to regulate Tannerite rifle targets."

Then they added, "The only injuries that have ever happened were the result of the shooter misusing the product."

All of which brings us to David Pressley who lives in Walton County, Georgia. The Washington Post reports that this weekend Brother Pressley decided it would be fun to load an old lawn mower with three pounds of Tannerite then start blasting away at it.This despite Tannerite's warning that their product should never be placed under or near a metal object.

Not being the sharpest knife in the drawer, Pressley also chose to ignore Tannerite's rule of thumb advice concerning distance. The company says a shooter should be 100 yards away for every pound of the stuff used as a target. Authorities estimate Pressley was a scant 25 yards away when the Tannerite blew the lawn mower into all manner of deadly shrapnel which flew every which direction.

According to the story, an online video was posted of the impressive explosion. Unfortunately for David Pressley, it also records him screaming, "I blew my leg off!" A second voice can be heard yelling, "Someone call an ambulance!"

Pressley's pals stopped filming long enough to apply a tourniquet then get him to a spot where was taken by helicopter to a local hospital. Police and medics say he will survive, sans his leg.

One of Pressley's neighbors was quoted as saying, "You would've had to be on drugs, or something to think it was a good idea to play with that and try to blow up a lawn mower."

Walton County Sheriff, Joe Chapman told a local NBC affiliate his office receives several complaints a week about explosions of Tannerite scaring people's pets and waking up their kids. He also made sure to mention it was perfectly legal to use.

Finally he added, "Be careful. It's very dangerous, it's not a toy. It's much more than a firecracker."

Yeah, Sheriff, we know that--because most areas either severely limit the sale of firecrackers, or outlaw them completely.

We also know the vile hyenas who run the NRA aren't interested in simple fireworks.They're only concerned with making sure the shit that blows up real good is available to stupid yokels like David Pressley.

As the green lady once said in another context, "What a world, what a world."


Thursday, March 24, 2016

Larry Wilmore Might be on to Something

Yesterday, The Nightly Show host, Larry Wilmore went a bit conspiracy theorist on us. With tongue firmly implanted in cheek he claimed the republican party might be playing a dangerous game of bait and switch. According to the Wilmore hypothesis, the GOP may have foisted Donald Trump on the American public in order to make Ted Cruz more palatable.

Of course, after listening to Trump's bellicose craziness, Cruz can seem perfectly serene and sane. Well, at least until you hear what he is actually saying.

On Tuesday, right after the horror of the terrorist attacks in Brussels, Cruz said, "We need to empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized." He added that politicians, "...tried to deny this enemy exists out of a combination of political correctness and fear." He finally had this to say, Europeans were, "...seeing what comes of a toxic mix of migrants who have been infiltrated by terrorists and isolated radical Muslim neighborhoods."

The Senator, in true Trump fashion, declined to explain how he, as president, would empower local law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods. Obviously he prefers to leave such details to his trusted aides.

You know, guys like the raving Islamophobe Frank Gaffney Jr. He is currently on Cruz's National Security Advisor team. He's also so nuts Ron Reagan could only put up with him for seven months before kicking his ass out of the pentagon. That was long before he wrote a book which rather ham handily suggested Barack Obama is secretly a Muslim.

Today the Washington Post is reporting that, Cruz, after taking flak over his rant, went on Charlie Sykes' radio show and said, "What I called for yesterday and what everyone was reacting to was increased law enforcement, increased military effort, and increased police presence. We need to be using proactive law enforcement and intelligence and national security resources to prevent radicalism."

Then the Senator went off on the saturation bombing riff he's been using to please the volk at his rallies.

So the difference between Trump and Cruz appears to be, Trump wants to keep all Muslim immigrants out of the country while making the ones already here wear some sort of ID badge/tracking device. Cruz, on the other hand, prefers the more subtle method of having battalions of cops and all manner of feds, spy on them relentlessly before kicking in their doors in order to haul them away to God knows where.

It would seem, Larry Wilmore might be on to something.

Meanwhile, after an odious ad about El Donald's wife was aired on the internet by an anti-Trump Super-Pac in Utah, Trump took to twitter, threatening to, "spill the beans," on Cruz's wife, Heidi.

What those beans exactly are remain a mystery. Cruz immediately responded by calling Trump a, "sniveling coward," and in a statement yesterday, Heidi Cruz told the press, "Most of what Donald says has no basis in reality."

Trump came back with a tweet featuring an unflattering photo of Mrs. Cruz next to an airbrushed professional shot of his wife with a tag line which read, "No need to spill the beans. The images are worth a thousand words."

Ah yes, quite presidential.

Those sounds you hear are Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and Dwight Eisenhower rolling over in their graves.

Ladies and gentlemen, the bar is most definitely open.

sic vita est


Monday, March 21, 2016

The Four Day Massacre and a Retreat Back Into Presidential Politics

That didn't take long.

Indeed, by the end of a scant four days my NCAA men's basketball tournament brackets were in utter ruins. Hell, Rome looked better after the Visigoths raged through the Forum in 410 AD. In fact, given the results of the first two rounds, I might as well have bet the money I put down on Michigan State, Kentucky, VCU, Baylor, and West Virginia on Rick Perry's presidential campaign. At least that coyote shooting son of a bitch lasted more than one weekend.

The inevitable result of such a massacre is a rueful retreat back into presidential politics and other high crimes and misdemeanors.

Here is where we stand at the moment when it comes to the gaudy circus known as The Campaign. On the democratic side, Hillary Clinton has 1,630 delegates locked up, while Bernie Sanders is holding onto 870. It takes 2,383 to win.

Two things are increasingly clear. First, Secretary Clinton will be the nominee. Second, if Bernie Sanders' army of bright eyed Utopians throw a snit when he does lose--then, because they didn't get their way, decide to stay at home in November--the White House could well fall into the hands of Donald J. Trump, a raving fascist.

Right now Trump is sitting on 678 republican delegates. He is also complaining it's unfair to make him corral the 1,237 needed to win. In other words, the GOP national leadership should change its rules just for Donald J. Trump and allow Him to become the nominee, even if a majority of republicans loathe him. And, oh, if the party hierarchy doesn't cave into his latest gripe, or he ends up losing the nomination during a brokered convention there will be riots in the streets.

Herr Hitler would have been proud.

Of course the only viable alternative to Donald Trump right now is the most hated man in the Senate, Ted Cruz. He holds 423 delegates. That's right, in the end, republicans could be faced with a cure which might be just as bad, even though more glib, as the disease they're so frantically fighting against.

Which brings us to the defunct campaign of Marco Rubio. In theory he has 164 pledged delegates, but The Hill points out 80 plus of those could return to play. A lot of it depends on state party regulations which vary wildly, however because of a mishmash of rules and some secretive local hoodoo--voodoo those 80 some odd delegates could be released either by the states, or Rubio himself.

If, or when either happens they can vote for whoever they want during the critical first ballot. Odds are feelers are being extended to those people by Ted Cruz's staff as these words are typed. Let's face it, desperate situations call for desperate measures. God only knows how many under secretary jobs and ambassadorships to exotic locales Cruz will be happily promising to available rubes in order to secure their votes. Yes, when it comes to crunch time, fuck all that small government shit.

Things have turned so weird there are actually elements of the conservative movement who are talking about drafting a viable third party candidate in response to a Trump nomination. Their hallucinations are warped enough that they've publicly floated the name of the aforementioned coyote shooting son of a bitch, Rick Perry as a possible candidate.

You know--the same guy, who was so incredibly unpopular with the public his candidacy, while lasting more than a single weekend, didn't even make it to Iowa.

Not even Perry was buying into the craziness. He was quick to say he would refuse any sort of offer, then urged everyone to back the Canadian guy.

So there we have it. Clinton appears to be in command, but Bernie could make up ground out west over the next couple of weeks. Meanwhile, Trump's supporters continue to sucker punch and stomp people on a daily basis at his rallies and the candidate is darkly hinting at more wide spread violence. It has gotten so ugly on the republican side none of us should be surprised if GOP chairman, Reince Priebus wakes up in bed one morning next to the severed head of his favorite horse.

And with that lovely thought, ladies and gentlemen, the bar is open. My bookie is buying. Trust me, he can afford it.


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

So Faced With All This Brutal Lunacy What Are We, the Sane, to Do?

You have to admit it is getting worse every day. Last week, Breitbart News Network reporter Michelle Fields joined the ever growing list of those wounded while attending Donald Trump campaign functions. As she was attempting to ask the candidate a question she was grabbed and viciously thrown aside by Trump campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski. The assault left her with bruises up and down her arm.

Afterward, in true Trump fashion, El Donald claimed the incident never happened and that Fields made the whole thing up. This despite numerous witnesses and video evidence to the contrary. Breitbart, who, as an organization, has spent far more time performing fellatio on Mr. Trump than actually reporting what he says, promptly shoved their journalist under the bus and claimed she was mistaken about who grabbed her.

Ms. Fields announced she was quitting the right wing propaganda machine and three senior members of Breitbart's staff joined her. Of course, their departure won't change anything. Breitbart will keep publishing foul bilge online and Trump will continue to bellow crazed bullshit and lies to his out of control, fascist, fans.

So faced with all this brutal lunacy what are we, the sane, to do?

Actually the answer is quite simple. It is, after all March and the greatest sports spectacle in the United States begins tonight with a couple of NCAA basketball tournament play in games--one of them of real concern to those of us with brackets in hand and a bookie on speed dial.

That's right, they are voting all over Ohio today, but the real action will be tonight when Wichita State faces Vanderbilt in Dayton. The Shockers are a gritty outfit who can, if they get past Vandy, cause more than a few problems down the line.

In fact WSU is the reason there is a hole in my selection sheet right now. If they win this evening I have a terrible suspicion they could sneak into the "Sweet 16," round.

Obviously there are other Cinderella types floating around the brackets. In fact I have one, Virginia Commonwealth, ending up in the final four.

Hey, sometimes you go with your gut rather than your brain. It's the reason the sports books in Vegas remain profitable.

I never worry about such things in advance however. When it comes to the men's basketball tournament I have only one true nemesis. That's Mike Krzyzweski and his band of wankers from Duke. They ALWAYS screw me. Bet them to flop and they run deep into the tournament. Bet them to go far and some bunch of clowns like Lehigh takes them out in the first or second round.

Well, what do you expect from a guy whose last name starts with five consonants and only a single part time vowel?

No matter--for a few days, anyway, we can say fuck this vile business of politics. Now is the moment to invest heavily in beer, chips, Bloody Mary mix, and serious anti-anxiety meds. Then around 10pm tonight get the man on the phone and explain to him the outstanding re-sale value of that new Buick sitting in the driveway. Just make sure, as I do, your wife removes all objects which can be thrown at the TV screen when disaster strikes.

Because we know it will. Duke's very presence in the tournament assures us of that.

sic vita est


Friday, March 11, 2016

Alan Hruby Will Always Have Paris

I didn't feel right that day.

The words of Alan Hruby, written in a letter to Oklahoma City's daily paper, The Oklahoman last year.

Apparently not. On the day young Mr. Hruby didn't feel right, he murdered his mother, younger sister, and father in their Duncan, OK home.

Not to worry though. He recovered quickly. After the triple homicide he grabbed his mother's credit card and took off for a wild and wonderful weekend with some pals at the Dallas Ritz-Carlton.

It wasn't the first occasion he had traveled in style. At the time of the murders he was on probation for taking out a credit card in his grandmother's name--without her knowledge--in order to pay for a $5,000 spending spree in Paris, which included buying Louis Vuitton shoes and wallets, among other things. That little adventure so enraged his father, John, he turned his son into the police for it.

Today, The Oklahoman's, Nolan Clay wrote that prior to not feeling right, Alan had gone online and described himself as a, "shopaholic," and had posted on a blog, "There is no bigger rush than swiping your credit card at a store register." 

At the time of the killings Alan Hruby was enrolled as a freshman at the University of Oklahoma. He was also being looked at by authorities as a suspect in the theft of some blank checks from a friend of his grandmother. In addition, while at OU, he found some shark who loaned him $3,000 which he couldn't possibly pay back.

The reason he couldn't was simple. His Dad, fed up with the nonsense, told him he was cut off financially and that there would be no more cash bail outs from the family.

On the 9th of October, 2014 Alan snuck home in order to steal a 9mm. hand gun from the glove compartment of his father's vehicle. He left his cell phone back in his dorm room in Norman, so there wouldn't be any trace of his secret trip.

However, not being the brightest of bulbs in the chandelier, he used the H.E. Bailey Turnpike to get to Duncan and back, paying for his tolls with an Oklahoma Pike Pass sticker. He did the same thing later in the day when he drove home once more, then first killed his mother in the kitchen, his 17 year old sister when she came in from washing her car, and finally his father when he returned home from work.

The Hruby housekeeper found the bodies on the 13th of October. She later related to police that the previous Christmas, Alan had choked his mother during an argument over money and his spending. The housekeeper also told them he and his sister, Katherine didn't get along because, quite honestly, she considered him an asshole for the way he acted around their parents.

When he was brought in and questioned, Hruby claimed on Thursday, the 8th, he had driven to Marlow, OK where his parents owned the weekly paper and borrowed his Mom's card. Two things went wrong immediately. First, his roommate said Alan never left Norman on the 8th and the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority, thanks to the their Pike Pass records, provided time stamped evidence of his travels on the 9th.

In today's story, Clay reported Alan Hruby received three consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole for the murder of his family. He noted the state had been seeking the death penalty, but a plea bargain was reached after the family of Hruby's Mom and his Dad's sister requested the whole terrible affair be brought to a close as quickly as possible.

The agreement Brother Hruby signed specifies he cannot appeal his sentence, profit in any way from either a book, or movie deal, or communicate with the media. In other words, he is to enter into the bowels of the Oklahoma Corrections System and, as far as his family and the rest of the world is concerned, disappear from the face of the planet.

In the same letter to The Oklahoman last year he wrote, "This didn't happen because of shopping. My shopping wasn't something I, or my parents could not pay. They just thought my spending was out of control and it was."

Well you have to say something don't you.

Alan Hruby is 20 years old. If the old, shop 'til someone else drops, urge comes back, he will find, over the next six decades or so, prison canteens don't have much of a selection when it comes to fine leather goods.

But hey, to paraphrase a movie line, "He'll always have Paris."

Ladies and gentlemen, as always, the bar is open.

sic vita est


Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Knowing Joe Biden is Right and Hoping Winston Churchill is Too

If Ronald Reagan were alive today seeking the nomination, he could no more get the nomination of the republican party than I could. I'm not joking.

Vice President, Joe Biden

Jumpin' Joe is right. Howling mobs of neo fascist rubes have run completely amok during the primary season, sweeping away any republican candidate who might display even the merest scintilla of reason, or tolerance.

At the moment, Donald Trump, a raving, narcissistic, liar and bigot--who recently has taken to imploring his followers to raise their right hands in order to swear allegiance to him--currently possesses 458 of the 1,237 delegates needed to win the republican nomination. Ted Cruz, another congenital twister of the truth, not to mention a more eloquent fellow traveler in the crazed world of the ultra right, trails him by 99 delegates. Marco Rubio, the last hope of the shredded remains of what we used to call the GOP establishment has only 151. Everyone else, other than John Kasich, is gone, drowned in a maelstrom of strident xenophobia, violent fantasies, false memories, and outright lunacy.

Photos of the Trump supporters, raising their arms--many of them, not straight up, but at an angle--in fealty to his wild rhetoric, look alarmingly familiar to those of us who have actually opened a history book every now and then. They certainly did to Abe Foxman, holocaust survivor and former head of the Anti-Defamation League.

In an interview with an Israeli media outlet, Foxman was quoted as saying, "It's a fascist gesture. He is smart enough--he always tells us how smart he is--to know the images that this invokes."

Trump, during his daily round of free campaign publicity gleefully given to him by the American television industry, deflected, denied, and shrugged. It was an ego infused jitterbug we've seen before and will no doubt witness ad nauseam right through November and frighteningly, perhaps,beyond.

According to the candidate, "It's ridiculous. We're having such a great time. Sometimes we'll do it for fun. They'll (the crowd) start screaming at me to do the swearing, do the swearing. Honestly I didn't know it was a problem."

Yeah, well the Germans used to do it for fun too, at least until bombs started falling everywhere and the Red Army showed up at their doorstep.

Thankfully there is a sliver of light amidst this roiling madness. In the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, despite wild boasts to the contrary, Brother Trump is getting his head handed to him by both democratic candidates.

According to the survey, if Hillary Rodham Clinton and El Donald faced off in a national election right now she would win, 51% to 38%. Bernie Sanders would beat Trump, 55% to 37%.

The same poll shows, Mrs. Clinton leading Ted Cruz 47% to 45%, a difference within the margin of error, and she's in a dead heat with Marco Rubio, 46% to 46%.

How about that? It would seem there is, at last, some truth being preached by Messrs. Rubio and Cruz. As these words are being typed you can bet print and TV ads, plus new robo-call campaigns highlighting the numbers are being rushed to completion.

Of course those ads will be aimed at convincing thinking people to switch horses for the good of the party. Unfortunately for the deft strategists involved in their creation the crazy fucks who support Donald Trump don't give a rat's ass about the party. All they know is their guy hates the same people and things they hate and right now he's riding a wave which doesn't seem stoppable.

Indeed, the current Trumpite philosophy is overwhelmingly victory, or death. Just as long ago, in a different arena and in the face of an earlier imminent disaster, the hard core is demanding that there be no retreat from the Volga River's icy banks.

So what is one to do? After all, there are a couple of arguments here. Do we hope Trump screws the pooch during the remainder of the primary season and Cruz wins the nomination? Do we pray The D Man is held under the magical number of 1,237 before the convention in Cleveland, then gets so royally jobbed that some middle of the road milquetoast becomes the nominee and all his raucous loons revolt?

Or, does someone like me actually dare hope Donald Trump wins this spring, believing either Hillary, or Bernie will kick his arse in November?

Rubio looks to be on life support right now, but the vile little Canadian could pull the primary season out, although to do so he has to hurry. A Trump victory, especially in Florida, or even Ohio will be the tipping point for Senator Rubio and might be for Ted Cruz.

A Kasich loss in Ohio to anyone would certainly be the end for the governor. Even if he wins his home state we all know he's simply along for the ride in the middle of this out of control skid. His only realistic hope is to be, The Guy at the convention if it comes down to a second ballot. You know, the one who will cause all the Trump people to wail in mourning, rend their garments, gnash their teeth, and then finally leave the process, utterly convinced every conspiracy theory on YouTube is true.

The obvious choice is a savage convention where primary victories suddenly become about as valuable as Confederate dollars, but that seems increasingly improbable.

No, it looks like the only option is to yell, "Sieg Heil!" along with the rest of Trump's terrible wankers, then pray that, as Winston Churchill once said, "You can always count on Americans to do the right thing, after they've tried everything else."

sic vita est


Friday, March 4, 2016

Donald Trump Has a Big Member and Even Dick Nixon is Rolling Over in His Grave

So, how bad was it last night in Detroit?

It was this bad. Washington Post writer Chris Cillizza compared the latest republican debate to a, "high school cafeteria food fight." Author, Tom Fowler claimed it brought back memories of the behavior which was rampant in his 8th grade gym locker room. Then he posed the question, "Are you satisfied Donald Trump's member is large enough for him to be President of the United States?" Finally one anguished republican tweeted, "My party is committing suicide on national television."

We can only hope.

Unfortunately, after listening to the crowd present in the hall hoot and holler one can easily come to the conclusion that the rubes in Trump's camp might actually think the length and breadth of his penis is a true indication of his presidential acumen.

Yes, that's how low the right wing has sunk. We are no longer watching a political campaign. What we are now witnessing is some sort of surreal TV series--a severely twisted combination of Survivor, Celebrity Apprentice, and Beavis and Butthead.

The ghost of the republican establishment is in full panic mode. The situation is so manic that after the Super Tuesday debacle, former Texas congressman, Tom DeLay lectured MSNBC's Chris Matthews on party rules. DeLay was quick to explain, in no uncertain terms, primaries aren't about winning the popular vote in states, but rather securing delegates. He went on to point out Trump had yet to post a win in which he claimed more than 50% of the convention delegates available. The message was clear, Rubio, Kasich, and Cruz don't need to beat Trump every where. They simply have to prevent him from getting 1,237 delegates in Cleveland.

If they can chaos will ensue at the convention in July. If there is no winner on the first ballot, the republicans can nominate anyone. Speculation is swirling about who that might be. Paul Ryan and even Mitt Romney have been mentioned. The only thing apparently agreed upon at the moment is Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and John Kasich won't be in the mix.

Of course if Trump is denied the nomination, despite winning, say, two thirds of the primaries and caucuses you can count on a massive revolt by his grass roots support. A third party run becomes a distinct possibility as does the specter of vast numbers of his faithful simply boycotting the general election. Both of those outcomes spell doom for the GOP in November.

In other words, republicans, you are now being seated at that unenviable table between a rock and the hard place.

In the end, though, such a scenario might be viable only in the dreams of those who despise Trump almost as much as they do Hillary Rodham Clinton. First, Trump has to be stopped. On March 15th Florida and Ohio hold their primaries and both are winner take all affairs. That's right, if you win the popular vote in either place by even a single ballot, you get the entire state delegation at the convention.

Rubio is from Florida and Kasich is the governor of Ohio, but Trump currently leads in polls conducted in both places. If he wins in either state the race could come to a quick end and the nightmare of a Trump nomination will become a reality.

Lost in the middle of all this lunacy is the sad and terrible realization that something tragic has happened in America. It's unclear when it did, or why. Let's face it, we've always been brash and maddeningly convinced our political system is superior to every other one in the world. We've also been, since WWII anyway, far too reliant on our military to solve disputes, whether they be real, imagined, or manufactured.

Despite those sins of pride and wrath we have, at least until this year, been civilized enough to demand decorum from those aspiring to the presidency. We've even required that every serious candidate to the highest office in the land possess an understanding of how the government works and a basic knowledge of important issues and the intricacies which make them so difficult to overcome.

After watching those brutal clods in Detroit it is painfully evident none of that shit matters anymore. The truth is, Ron Reagan, even in the depths of late life dementia, was a more viable republican option for the presidency than the boobs on display yesterday will ever be.

Indeed, at this moment it seems, as far as the leading GOP candidate and the field chasing him are concerned, facts, issues, basic civics, and even simple human decency don't matter any more. Right now it's all about who has the biggest cock.

My God, even Richard Milhous Nixon has to be rolling over in his grave.

sic vita est


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

American Fascism and the Bully Boy Leading Its Charge

My party has gone bat shit crazy.

South Carolina republican Senator, Lindsey Graham

That's certainly one way to put it.

When Don Trump announced his candidacy for the republican presidential nomination, he promised to save the United States from unrelenting hordes of Hispanic rapists and drug pushers. According to him, he will force the Mexican government, who he says has been savagely bilking the American people for decades, to build a vast wall on our border. Apparently, he envisions it as a super sized version of the one which once separated Berlin, only in reverse.

Within a month of his auspicious entrance into the race, he told CNN the only reason everyone considered AZ Senator and former GOP presidential candidate, John McCain, a war hero was because he had been shot down and captured by the North Vietnamese. Brother Trump opined, "I'm sorry, I like people that weren't captured."

Since then he has vowed to establish a national data base of every Muslim in the country--U.S. citizens included--for tracking purposes. At the same time he advocated for the closing of, "some mosques," and promised to stop Muslims from immigrating into the country. This after declaring he personally witnessed, "thousands and thousands," of Muslims on the Jersey side of the Hudson River celebrating the collapse of the World Trade Center during the 9-11 terrorist attacks. Additionally he's said, he supports the torture of prisoners, "...even if it doesn't work."

About three months ago he retweeted, (a favorite tactic--hey, I didn't say it, I was just repeating something I was told)  that 81% of white murder victims are killed by African-Americans. Columnist George Will pointed out yesterday the reality is 82% of white murder victims are killed by other whites.

He told a crowd at one rally that a black protester should have, "...been roughed up." Then a few days ago police escorted 30 some odd black students out of a hall at Valdosta State University before another rally began. Despite claims of innocence from Trump's staff and the candidate himself, the cops have insisted they kicked the kids out only because members of the Trump campaign expressly instructed them to.

A couple of days before, El Don had denied knowing who former KKK leader and current white supremacist, David Duke is and seemingly refused to disavow his avid support and the support of various white nationalist groups. The next day, after everyone, both left and right went ballistic, he complained the whole thing was a misunderstanding because he had been given a bad earpiece and didn't hear the questions correctly.

In a print column today, Michael Gerson reminded us that a couple of weeks ago, Donald Trump took to a social media outlet where he darkly warned the Ricketts family, who had contributed millions to an anti Trump Super Pac, "They better be careful, they have a lot to hide." Gerson also pointed out that last week Trump threatened to, "Open up the libel laws," and said of the Washington Post, "If I become president, oh do they have problems. They are going to have such problems."

After USA Today ran a story about the Valdosta State incident Trump's people refused to give them credentials to his press conference last night. It wasn't the first time the campaign has thrown such a churlish snit. On previous occasions the organization has refused to allow reporters from The Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, and the New York Times to attend speeches because they had published unflattering stories about the founder of the defunct and possibly fraudulent, Trump University.

Gerson also reported that in 1990 Brother Trump claimed Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev didn't have a, "firm enough hand." Last year, after Vladimir Putin was accused of putting out successful hits on opposition journalists, the now leading GOP candidate shrugged and said "He's running his country and at least he's a leader, unlike what we have in this country."

Yesterday, Will wrote, "Trump is a presidential aspirant who would flunk an eighth grade civics exam." Today, Gerson observed, Trump has no evident knowledge of American history, or of a conservative ideology. He lives only in the vivid present of his wants and needs. He is squandering an inheritance he does not value, that he does not even understand."

There you go, the vile liberal press strikes again.

Well, not really.

George Will has been known to brag that the first presidential candidate he ever voted for was Barry Goldwater. Gerson has previously worked as a ghostwriter for Charles Colson and was once listed by Time Magazine as the ninth most influential evangelical in the United States.

As of today, Donald Trump has won 10 of 15 republican primaries and caucuses and controls 316 delegates to the party convention in July. He needs 1,237 to win the nomination.

It would seem Senator Graham's eloquent assessment of the situation is, indeed, correct. In all honesty, how else would you describe it?

Yes, ladies and gentlemen of the world, welcome to 21st century American fascism and the cruel, amoral, bully boy who is leading its terrible charge.

God help us all.