Thursday, November 12, 2015

Essay on Meaning and Nothingness in Politics

There’s all this meaningless beehive activity around the polls and the debates but what good is it except for the people who make a living from handicapping political races?  It provides hours of fun for the chattering classes, of course, but it doesn’t make anyone the wiser because the political status quo has remained what it was when Obama was first elected president.

That is to say people are upset, worried, and inclined toward knee-jerk emotional responses to events that few people make enough effort to understand. That is not to say that most everyone could not or don’t have the ability to understand what’s going on. Rather, it is that people don’t’ really want to, and prefer instead to wallow in their comforting emotional tantrums, the obvious down-side of which is that they can be easily manipulated on the basis of these emotions.

 Like victims of three-card Monte, they are always pointing to the wrong card as the ailment and clutching on to bumper sticker slogans as the bromide.  Meanwhile, the meek are not inheriting the earth. It is the loudmouths, the manipulators, the charlatans, and the demagogues who have taken charge, while “the people,” those shuffling, suffering, heterogeneous masses in whose name so much “good” has been proffered, are left to batter each other angrily with small sticks.

The current Republican Party melee is just like the Republican Party melees of the 2008 and 2012 campaigns when candidates and voters were quite willing to knife their brothers and sisters and sabotage their own best chances of winning. Most people who have been paying attention will admit, if not publically at least deep down in their heart of hearts, that both 2008 and 2012 were “can’t lose” elections against an amateur far-left candidate with mini-experience whose best and crowning achievement had been an earlier inspiring speech at a Democrat’s convention.

This was perhaps the first time many Democrats discovered that black people could be articulate and clean, to use Joe Biden’s description of Barack Obama. There was, too, the anti-Clinton wing of the Democrat Party machine led by, exemplified by, and commandeered by the then powerfully influential Kennedy faction.  Do people remember that there was a powerful feud between the Clinton factions and the Kennedyites? 

Barack Obama was the anti-Clinton response to Hillary. What better way was there to prove dominance than by activating the more powerful Boston Brahmin machine with its national and even world-wide tentacles? 

That was only part of it, but the other part of it, the pending collapse of the economic system, also triggered an emotional reaction almost to the level of the World Trade Center attacks. The emotional reaction to the WTC bombings was understood to be justifiable and justifiably continues.  But when the housing collapse and the toppling of the economy followed, people were just scared and sought safety in the herd. They didn’t understand what happened then, and still don’t, and could then and can now be told what to believe about it.  They’re inclined to believe the government line that government saved them instead of the truth that government took care of its cronies, made the taxpayers pay for their mistakes, and ran the country for weeks by the Divine Right of Kings. Even the wizards in Congress didn’t figure it out until years later, and today are little inclined to speak about it honestly.

I hate to tell you but it’s 2008 again, and the country is in some ways in far worse shape. Foreign policy is a shambles, an ugly failed mosaic of confused tiles. We’ve been wallowing along in a fake economy propped up by fake interest rates.  Democrats have been afraid to stop priming the pump because they know that the minute they do that reality will settle in and people will feel the whip come down.

The voices that could reverse our dismal trends are not the ones screaming at you the loudest. There’s a hint for you -- I’m not going to spell it out because if you haven’t learned it after 8 years you won’t get it because I’m telling you. You have to find the truth yourself, not depend upon someone to do it for you.  

Trump Wall Could Be a Shining Example of Deportation Done Right

Hey, listen – I’m totally for secure borders, actually enforcing current immigration policies (not the  sanctuary city Obama style catch and release type), streamlining the sclerotic immigration bureaucracy, et so forth. But some of these GOP candidates have either flipped or are lying when they tell you they “have a plan.” They don’t have a plan. They have a bumper sticker slogan. And they see a gullible, and rightly worried public as an opportunity to advance personal agendas. 

One of the my biggest concerns about the current GOP primary is how much ammunition it will provide to the leftists who are bending the arc of Hillary Clinton’s nomination toward American socialism.  Though he’s not the only populist sloganeer on the dais, Donald Trump has contributed a great deal to that effort, most recently with his “Massive Deportation Force,” which sounds suspiciously like a Star Wars schedule for intergalactic travel.  I think Jeb Bush nailed it when, during this recent FBN debate, pointed out the absurdity of a 1950s style “Operation Wetback.”  But Mr. Trump says his roundup will be done “nicely” so then okay it’s alright we can get on board with it.

So then I’m envisioning this “nice” roundup of 12 million people illegally in the U.S.   I guess the magnificent Trump can easily outdo by ten-fold the one million people sent back to Mexico during the Eisenhower era. I wonder if the 88 people who died in the desert, though, will also be magnified ten-fold. But taking Trump at his word, that he would do this “nicely,” I would ask him some additional questions about developing this “Massive Deportation Force.”

Would this MDP require the formation of another police entity?  Would it have special uniforms or would it wear standard issue military garb? Perhaps Mr. Trump conceives of a plainclothes MDP -- though this would present special problems, too.  Would there be a special salute or handshake so that they could recognize each other?  Would the MDP be in charge of admitting or denying entrance at the various portals of the Trump Wall? The Trump Wall itself needs to be further explored. I would like to see an artist’s rendering of it. 

Surely, a man who boasts of his billions could find a sketch artist to draw a model, a thing that we can see. Then persons like myself might grow to like it, and maybe to improve it. I have to admit I was negative about it when first I heard, but then the utter glory of a magnificent Trump Wall began to stir my spirit.  It is a way of one-upping the Chinese who built that so-called “Great Wall” so many years ago.  I can envision a great meeting between President Trump and President Xi during which our golden-maned president dazzles the Chinese president with his eloquence:

               “Wall much, Mr. Xi?”

Score! And of course, all of America will chuckle along with him. Not to say that spite would be the only satisfaction America would gain from building the Trump Wall.  There are practical reasons for building a Trump Wall and that is why an artist’s rendering is so important. If an architect’s drawing were truly inspired, it would show a very thick and hollow wall into which Trump Apartments for Displaced Illegals could be built.   That would be nice, and the niceness wouldn’t end there.  There would be Trump casinos, game rooms, massage parlors, and even a miniature golf course for the kiddies.

Trump Wall? Intergalactic deportation? Paid for by the Mexican president? I’m beginning to like it.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

News, Views, and Clues: U.S. Cut and Run Strategy in Iraq Invited ISIS Control of Ramadi, Fallujah

News, Views, and Clues: U.S. Cut and Run Strategy in Iraq Invited ISIS Control of Ramadi, Fallujah

News, Views, and Clues: CBS "The Good Wife" : Attorney Seeking Clients by Pound Weight

News, Views, and Clues: CBS "The Good Wife" : Attorney Seeking Clients by Pound Weight

Fabulous Four GOP Candidates II - Hell Week Revisited

In the beginning of this conflict called a presidential election, I wrote an article titled “The Fabulous Four”. In it, I identified four GOP candidate whom I thought would be there at the end when the smoke cleared. The four individuals were Trump, Kasich, Jeb, and Rubio.  I didn’t mention Ted Cruz, who’s had a good week and a rising profile.  I published my article on August 13, 2015 so my guesswork two months later can be described as “not bad for an amateur.”  Or maybe I should say “not bad for an amateur among amateurs” because the MSM is not doing any better with their constant touting of the flavor du jour and going with whatever sells the most advertising.

The MSM coverage, with rare exception, has been tragically awful.  Tragically awful personalities who have mucked things up include the three hopeless mice (#CNBC ‘s Carl Quintanilla, Becky QuicK, and John Harwood) who demeaned the entire democratic process by bringing it down to the level of an 8th grade food fight. Having liberal Democrats ask some questions is okay but this most recent anti-GOP debauchery was pathetic.   The MSM conservative establishment has done only a little better with their one-size-fits-all mentality, their oversimplification of complex issues, their hypocritical swipes at a vague abstraction knowns as “The Establishment.”

You could at least say that Rush Limbaugh is one of the pioneers of that type of “journalism,” and his brand of satire has twisted things to the degree that used to be funny. However, funny man Rush sometimes seems so over even when he has occasional flashes of original insight.  He repeats himself endlessly, poor man.  Of course, the favored technique of the all of these pamphleteers has been to use the bludgeon, to repeat slogans ad infinitum, and to use the label to sell “My Pillow (Hannity)”, to promote a Gold Bug mentality (Levine) and I forget what Rush Limbaugh is selling.

These men are not the worst of the once authentic conservatives who are now marketing a brand, complete with copyright and patents protected.  God forbid should you realize that a president must government everyone, and not be like President Obama who thinks his presidency only extends to a narrow but expanding slice of left-wing America hating progressives.  The worse of this ilk are the copycats who get their marching orders from on high, with nary an original thought:  Anne Coulter (once an ardent admirer of Chris Christie who now is on Trump’s short list for press secretary) and Laura Ingraham, whose sole aim in life is to break out of radio and land a coveted spot on Bret Baier’s Special Report TV where they often have real journalists on the panel—including real liberal and moderate journalists.

But I digress. Another way of looking at my political prognostication is three out of four ain’t bad, but that description is perhaps to give myself too much credit. I suppose accuracy depends on whether we’re talking about winning the GOP primary or whether we’re talking about who is doing well as of today. Shit happens.  My man Jeb Bush is not doing so well.  Trump is marching in place but still high in the rankings. Rubio has surged primarily owing to  his youthful exuberance, his intense preparation, and his adept speaking style. While Kasich has plummeted. 

How would I revise my Fab Four today? I think Ted Cruz, and this is difficult for me to acknowledge, must replace Kasich among the Fab Four (I know—very opposite, no compassionate conservativism, kind of a shame).  I’d keep Rubio.  Trump is still there but no longer as mesmerizing as he once was.  

You’ll hate me for this but consider that I’m Sicilian (American first) and genetically loyal to my gang even when we’re shot full of holes. Consider also that I’m not looking for personality or charm or stage presence – I still think colorless, plain vanilla Bush knows most about American governance and would have the least flawed learning curve.  That’s what worries me about all the rest. New presidents always blunder so I want the guy who will blunder the least—which to me means more lives saved, more people presented with more opportunities.  I think both Rubio and Bush have reasonable, realistic, immigration plans that are far superior to the hyper-inflated claims Mr. Trump is making.  It’s the knowledge and competence factor that impresses me, not the flash, not the bombast, not the celebrity.

There is only one danger to nominating Jeb Bush and it is that he has the most enemies of all the candidates.  He has so many enemies that it baffles me that anyone should call him the “establishment” guy. The media, whether conservative or liberal-left, never misses a chance to attack him.  The Tea Party attacks him at every turn.  Click-bait talk radio conservatives slash at him every chance they get. All of this combines to make a Jeb Bush nomination a steep hill to climb, in spite of the fact he has the best chance of all of defeating Hillary Clinton.

People who think a Ted Cruz or a Donald Trump can defeat a woman as studied and familiar with the working of the Washington political machine are delusional.  I’ll tell you why in the next chapter. 

Sinai Egypt Plane Crash Claims Lives of 200 Plus Passengers

A plane crash in the central Sinai region of Egypt this morning claimed the lives of more than 200 passengers.  Most of the passengers were Russian, coming from the Sinai seaside resort of Sharm Al-Sheikh, one of the most popular tourist destinations for Russians.  An estimated 3 million Russians vacation at the seaside resort each year.

Early reports are not always reliable but suggest that the aircraft did not explode in the air but lost power and went nose down after failing to make an emergency landing at Al-Arish Airport. The airline is operated by Kogalymavia, aka Metrojet, which specializes in transporting vacationers to tourist destinations.

Things to Know:

-        The Plane was 23 minutes into the air when it lost contact with air traffic control
-        224 were aboard, 7 of them crew members.
-        Early official statements suggest that technical problems brought down the plane rather than terrorism.

-        A Russian state-owned TV station reported that the pilot reported technical problems and requested landing at another airport before it went down.

Thursday, October 29, 2015


I just binge-watched about twelve chapters of a Showtime serial called “The Affair.” You might think I’d have an opinion of it but I don’t. The only thing I’m sure of is which characters I like best. Or like at all.

Of the chief characters, I most like Helen, Cole, and Whitney. At least Helen and Cole are the “good,” even if they are tarnished. Whitney? She’s a teenager run amok, in part derailed by the divorce of her  parents, the other part being the expected traumas of adolescence.

So who’s who and what’s the game?  Helen and Noah Sollaway always take the kids and themselves to spend the summers on Montauk with Helen’s wealthy parents. It’s an idyllic somewhat boring existence. Noah Solloway takes a walk along the beach path one day and meets “younger woman” Allison outside her own cottage.  They have a little flirtation at first, which sends Noah over the moon, and soon they’re wrapped up into a full-blown affair with lots of stand-up and lay-down screwing, subterfuge, spousal and family issues, and intense yearnings.

The people who created “The Affair” must be praised for disobeying the first commandment of Hollywood filmmaking:  the leading characters must be appealing. That is, they must be appealing, even if they are flawed. I wonder though, if the writers who created the characters of Noah Solloway and Alison Baily intended them to be weighted toward the disagreeable rather than mostly appealing. Or perhaps, as happens so many times, it was a case of the inmates overrunning the asylum.

The show’s creator provides some perspective, and some additional information about the show, in a conversation she had with TV Guide.

When I first met Alison, I liked her, not only because she was the woman who saved the Solloway’s kid from choking to death, but simply because she was likable. When I first met Noah, my instinct was to withhold emotional attachment until he showed more of the qualities one appreciates in a leading man.  Instead, the handsome gent with the deep manly voice showed a great deal of self- absorption, and the type of self- indulgence that would have allowed him to leave Helen, his wife of many years and their four children.

My third strike against the  Noah Solloway character is that he’s a writer, struggling along with his first book, then his second, with all the self-doubt and anxiety that could really produce.  On top of that, he’s competing with his father-in-law, an egomaniacal man with an established literary reputation. Very often when TV or film writers want to make a sympathetic character, they make him or her into this struggling writer meme because…oh, yes… we’re all sacrificing ourselves (not to mention our families) for Art with a capital “A.” That’s all bullshit, of course; the truth is far more gritty and unappealing and so many writers have shitty personalities, outsized egos when compared to the true greats, and worse, they excuse bad behavior because it is expected of them as eccentric, romantic, literary heros. Noah Solloway is a guy who can’t say no to himself though he easily and always  says no to his wife and four children.

This is not to hand you a lecture on the virtues of “family values.” It just is what it is.  That’s what happens in “The Affair.” For her part, Allison sullies herself in this association where she is expected at all turns to accept whatever second-tier emotional crumbs are left to her. That’s because she is guilt-ridden, having suffered through the death of her young child, sending her marriage to Cole spiraling downward.  The script leaves no secret that Alison is a masochist – she even cuts herself on the upper thigh so that she can feel the pain of loss again and again.  If you don’t believe that, consider the suicide scene where she tries to walk out into the ocean to drown.

“The Affair” puts the audience in a moral space, of course, and even seems persuasive of the view that affairs are a good thing.  It’s possible they may be a good thing in some twisted sense but they hurt people. The Noah Solloway character, intelligent, bright, handsome, and driven, is for me very hard to like.

Yet, I have wallowed in the sexy misery of twelve episodes, and now that I’m caught up, will find it easier to follow until it either ends or gets entirely boring (It does have boring segments where you can turn back to Twitter or other social media while watching it without missing much). 

I’ve made some criticisms, and I don’t think they’re particularly harsh. I hope they’re not harsh because the actors are not to be faulted for the script and the story line.  I would say that it is because of the talent of the actors that made me catch the unlikable imperfect shading with which the characters are imbued.  If that’s a convoluted sentence or way of putting it, let me say it this way:  the acting in the series has been consistently above par. 

Which brings me to the right-on acting of the snotty teen girl, Noah and Helen’s snarky and malevolent seventeen year old daughter Whitney, who gets knocked up by one of Alison’s brothers-in-law.  But that will wait for another time.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

CBS "The Good Wife" : Attorney Seeking Clients by Pound Weight

I recapped the latest episode of “The Good Wife” for TV Eskimo (, a web site that keeps up with a variety of television episodes.  You can look at it here – it’s short.  

Too often I’m mired in politics, so I thought some TV talk would get my mind out of that gutter.  Have I mixed metaphors there? “Mired?” Stuck in mud.  “Gutter?” That can mean a lot of things (including those attractive pits where my ball tends to go in the bowling alley). 

I was an early fan of “The Good Wife” and watched it for a couple of seasons fairly often. Then I stopped watching it regularly and began watching it only occasionally when I thought it wondered off the intensity it began with.  I’m sure it’s very hard to keep up the intensity after seven seasons so I’m not complaining – just that I have certain expectations.  But someone among the writers for the show this seasons must have decided “let’s get back to serious business” even though “serious business” must be dumbed down a bit to retain part of the audience.  But I think most every episode, even the worst of them, has been far above the heads of an audience which might watch….say…. “Jackass?”

Every series episode will have one or more legal issues to provide food for thought as well as comic entertainment. The entertainment/comedy portion of this ep was about a segment of the attorney population called “bar attorneys.” It was funny – the lawyers bartered over clients by the pound (yes, body weight).  The deeply philosophical and intensely legal segment had to do with doctor assisted suicide.  Not fun, but interesting arguments presented from both sides.

So I’m back to watching it. The acting is always good. The writers are always too clever by half.  And hell! What else is happening on a Sunday night in Peoria?  (I’m not really in Peoria, I’m in my own private Idaho)  My other great TV (and real life) passion is boxing. If some enterprising entrepreneur would put boxing on Sunday nights – I would have a real dilemma.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Can Karl Rove Save America from Hillary Clinton?

Only if some Republicans stop being mesmerized by that garrulous champion of political  chameleons everywhere – the Great Donald Trump.   

Trump’s is a political house built on shifting sands.  You’d expect better from a real estate magnate. On the other hand, he’s selling swampland to the gullible so, of course, making egregious, unsubstantiated claims is the way to do it.   Trump takes hyperbole to new heights almost every day.

The liberal media loves Trump, though.  Where else can you get a guy who says one day he wouldn’t have gone after Bin Laden in Afghanistan and the next day says he would have? What better tool is there than Donald Trump to pound in the coffin nails of the highjacked GOP? What better promotional tool is there for Hillary Clinton?

 Trump’s intentionally vague policy positions are reversible clothing which can be worn inside out, right-side up, and turned around the next day.
Getting to Karl Rove, though, and his essay in the Wall Street Journal (another “establishment” bogeyman media source), Rove points out the quesstions that are not being asked about Trump's hyperbolic claims: 

Exactly how would he deport an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants within the two years or less that he promises?  According to Rove, that amounts to 15,000 people per day.  He would do this in a “very nice” way, of course, and then reimport the “good people” back into the U.S. in an expedited way.  Of course he would use the “best business practices” (the ones that worked so well in his four bankruptcies)  to do this, and maybe the next day he would annex Baja California and offer free government paid vacations to his supporters/voters.

Trump also said he believes in single-payer government health care and that he doesn’t care if he loses voters over it.  Wait a minute!  Hasn’t Barak Obama yet conquered that territory?  Nonetheless, Trump would trump that hand of cards and do everyone one better.
Oh, and he’s not going to cut Social Security or Medicare “like other Republicans” even though all projections have it that those entitlements will be bankrupt in 2034 if things continue on the present course.  Well, Donald, your six or ten billion that you’re worth won’t last long if you’re paying for that promise. 

Then there is Libya, which was only one of numerous foreign policy blunders of the Obama administration. (the list is longer than the U.S. tax code)  Trump says he would seize the oil fields and appropriate the profits from them. In his next Superhero episode, he might promise free gasoline to everyone (from the Libyan oil fields) so that they can drive to the New American Baja California and stay at the New Trump Plaza Mexicana.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Dan Rather Movie: “Truth” is Relative -- And of Little Importance Whatsoever!

Get ready for another attempt at historical revision of an event that no longer lives in memory. The Robert Redford movie about Dan Rather’s firing from CBS has landed with a dull thud.  Or perhaps,  the movie “Truth” will have some appeal for idealistic twenty-somethings who were ten years old at the time of the ‘key event’ of the movie.

Here’s the short of it:  That icon of television journalism, Dan Rather, lost his job when he and his producer, Mary Mapes, decided to go ahead with the broadcast of some phony documents presented to them by an rabid anti-Bush politician.  The forged documents quoted unidentified and still mysterious sources who maintained that George W. Bush got into the Texas Air National Guard with the help of this shady politician. (At least President Bush was in something military –unlike current GOP fictional hero Donald Trump who bought four deferments)  The fictional sources mentioned, according to today’s Wall Street Journal, consisted of a mysterious ‘Lucy Ramirez’ (because there are thousands in the phone book) and a ‘dark-skinned stranger.’

The anti-Bush slimed documents were immediately recognized as forgeries, and CBS had no choice but to fire Dan Rather.

That was the reality but now Mary Mapes, Dan Rather, Robert Redford, and Cate Blanchett are together in this “Truth” Truther, hoping to make some money out of the public amnesia which is evident even in the current 2016 presidential race.  American brains are so scrambled (I am an American) that it is now possible to revise, compile, and be believed by 50 percent of the population in a fictional account about what happened last week. What chance does truth have today regarding some event that happened in 2004?

Robert Redford will no doubt portray a heroic Dan Rather. Kate Blanchett will play a heroic Mary Mapes. There is a good chance that fifty percent of the population may accept this as historical truth.  But there is an even better chance that the movie will bomb (reviews are already unfavorable)  because it casts journalism into the phantasmagorical light of it is own solipsism. 

There are still good reporters out there, but everyone recognizes they are drowned out by anti-historical clickbait ninnies. The latter are the rule;  the former the exception.  I will even acknowledge that the anti-Bush super-liberal Dan Rather did some good honest reporting during his long career.  But the conspiracy to take down a president with forged documents was not a high moment in journalism. Just as this anti-Republican liberal-left screed advertising itself as a film is not a high moment in film.

My guess is that "Truth" will sink to depths even lower than those attained by our Massive Ordnance Penetrator bombs. CBS even refuses to take film advertising for “Truth” and what better recommendation for a film is that? 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Homeland Season 5 -- In-Depth News ICYMI

I was watching the first episode of Homeland – Season 5 – and you probably know by now that the story line was virtually ripped from the headlines.  You’ll remember a while back (seems so long ago) that Angela Merkel and her government were incensed that we (The U.S. being “we”) were spying on them.  Somehow the surveillance got identified and, of course, this led to an entirely embarrassing situation that occupied the media for weeks.  Casablanca.  I’m shocked, shocked Rick!  There’s gambling going on here. 

There were some TV commentators who took issue with the mention of the German surveillance, “hactivists”, and of “Anonymous” as if it were somehow cheating, somehow not as good as if you made stuff up out of whole cloth.  Other commentators were okay about the idea, having opinions lukewarm or tepid, and then there is a third category of commentator who comprised of people like me who are good and fed up with stuff that pretends we are in a different world than the one we’re actually living in. Things are tough all over, the planet is a lot smaller, we see and experience all of it, or at least more than ever before.  On the extreme end of the escapist crowd are the people who absolutely insist that their creative inputs must have no connection to the awful, awful things that occur every day.  Things like the refugee problem, also given billing in Ep 1 of Season 5 “Homeland.”

As you know, Carrie had quit the CIA and is working at the “Foundation,” a supposedly humanitarian aid organization which, in contrast to hardcore CIA types, espouses liberal anti-U.S. sentiment akin to what we are now experiencing from Doctors Without Borders. The great thing about “Homeland” is that all sides are presented, and no sides are pretty in the way some people insist creative work absolutely, positively and without a doubt MUST be.

Let’s face it – most television drama is decidedly liberal and aimed at a sort of flavor-of-the-week cause like gay rights, women’s rights, rights of the mentally ill, LGBT rights, abortion rights, persecution of minorities (no matter that minorities here do the least amount of suffering of any social group in the universe), and so on ad-infinitum. The only rights that are rarely upheld or promoted in liberal TV dramas are Second Amendment rights.  The people who create this vast onslaught of liberal dreck are elite Democratic Socialists who feel they are enlightening us – peons, troglodytes, subhumans,  and others liberals look down upon as vermin.  

“Homeland” is successful because it’s the real shit. We don’t live in a black and white world.  There are not only two sides to every issue on “Homeland,” there are maybe 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 sides. Most of us have empathy for human suffering but beating our breasts and cueing our outrage to show others how deeply we feel the suffering of others doesn’t do a damn thing to alleviate suffering and in many cases makes things worse. It should be especially obvious in the current political environment that weakness, abdication of power, making nice with our enemies has created a vacuum that others have filled.  (Iran Nuclear Nightmare, ISIS, Putin, Kadyrov (spelling? The Chechnyan Warlord, I mean) – those are the result of our nation’s current weakness. The mercenary liberal cant has given us a failed economy, a failed foreign policy, and it has created the most massive refugee problem seen since WWII.

“Homeland” is great in depicting real events. They should rip everything out of the foreign policy headlines. That still leaves the great task of creating realistic dialogue, acting, and cinematography and putting it all together in a coherent and intelligent fashion. That’s what Homeland does, and if you think it’s easy. . .   I have to say one thing about that Claire Danes’ “Carrie” character. She is one messed up chick with her husky voice, her perpetual panic and revulsion, her clanging emotions, her chameleon face. Other characters, too, seem to have hard studied the meanings of ambivalence and ambiguity. How can you not love her, them, it?

 TV writers should add to our understanding of the world, and not condescend to us or try to re-engineer our DNA to make everyone and everything fit into infatuated liberal notions of how the world should be. I’d much rather be engaged in what it is instead of what it’s not. 

Friday, September 18, 2015

TNT's Public Morals TV Show: Meet Your New Landlords

Deep, dark, funny, and reflective is the TNT television show Public Morals. It airs on Tuesdays at 10:00 p.m. My wife kept telling me to watch it so finally I did.  I’m really a tough TV audience—which is not to say that I don’t watch a fair amount of it with lukewarm results.  I’ll often watch “bad TV” just to see what people are tripping on. It’s like watching a sociological experiment, much of it discouraging.

But Public Morals wasn’t discouraging.  Even before I picked up on the story line, I was  immediately struck with the writing and acting. I'm no gangster, you’ll be glad to know,  but I've known more than a few questionable people and I’m quite sure some of them were. And I sometimes used to hang out in the Hell’s Kitchen area during the 60s era and quite well remember what it was like, colorful and exciting, seedy and disreputable, abject to great heights.  It was a place of contradiction, those contradictions being well displayed in the TV show Public Morals.

I kind of related to PM too b/c a while back I almost got jammed up in one of those "Westie" Hell's Kitchen Irish mob places where a guy like Richie Kane (he’s a character in the show played by Aaron Dean Eisenberg) came in and called out the restaurant-bar manager or owner and scared the shit out of everyone. I got out of there in a hurry, didn't even want to know what was going on. Public Morals made me remember that.  I like the way the show feels, real people, nice people, flawed people.

I'm big on realism. For me, there’s too little realistic material on TV and way too much fantasy.  Everything's about gadgets & technology, and avoidance of reality.  Not so with Public Morals. It’s a big plus that the Public Morals actors all seem to know what that New York thing is/was about. I don't normally gush about TV programs but I have a strong feeling about PM and urge you to watch it if only for my sake. 

  I try to write myself so I know how hard it is to do something creative without falling into rubber stamped formulas. I was just very impressed with the way Ed Burns put the whole thing together—writing, directing, acting, casting.  It's very hard to do just one of those things and he's done them all. 

He found all these great down to earth actors with some keystone figures like Brian Doheny playing the Irish first generation who worked their way up to power and influence. I never watch the “extras” that come with the On Demand versions but I watched nearly all of the short interviews with Burns. He was so honest and without pretension, as were the actors who shouted out to me on Twitter (to my great surprise and delight).

.Have to say the sets are great, so are the period idiosyncrasies, costuming, graphics. Watch it if you want to see that great old pre-hipster good bad old New York complete with the hookers on Times Square we used to try to talk to when we were kids. 

The individual scenes flow nicely and are knit together well. I like the way everyone has one attitude or another. There's a lot of ironic humor in the writing, too; it’s brilliant writing. Alright, this is TMI, I know. Too bad I'm not some kind of big deal critic, right?

Just watch it, okay. I’m telling you. And repent your sins, for chrissakes! 

Monday, September 7, 2015

Hillary Clinton’s Hard-Won Coronation by Default

I’ve always thought this was going to be a competitive primary and I’m looking forward to it,” declared Hillary Clinton, as she surveyed the political landscape.  Believe that and she’ll tell you another.

There is no competitive political landscape with the Democrats.  The Democrats in 2016 will have a coronation, unless there is a criminal indictment, which could not possibly happen until after the 2016 elections.

There are two candidates on the Democrat side, Jim Webb and Martin O’Malley who are barely registering a heartbeat, and then there is Bernie Sanders, a socialist running as an independent. Then there is Joe Biden, the wounded bird of the Democrat party who has a great chance to win the Democrat’s primary until he actually decides to run.

Should that latter occur, the clickbait media will de-louse itself from Donald Trump’s hair and spend a pious week wringing their hands over the Veep’s tragic life, culminating most recently with the death of his son from brain cancer.  This is indeed sad stuff, and we are sorry for anyone having to grieve the loss of a child. However,  the trope that Beau Biden’s dying wish was that his dad would run for president a third time has to be seen as a family Disney opportunity made for TV.

“Don’t worry about me, dad. I’ll rest in peace knowing you’re the president.” Violin music.

That image, superimposed as it will be over previous images of a creepy uncle with grabby hands, will garner considerable votes among Democrats who neither trust nor like Hillary Clinton. But keep in mind that Bernie Sanders has already drawn off most of the Hillary Hating Democrats. Moreover, Hillary Clinton manages a smooth running, well-funded, corrupt, but large organization which can only be defeated if all the moneyed elite Brahmin Democrats who interposed Obama the Great on Hillary in 2008 would do the same for Biden.

There’s fat chance of that happening. Deals have likely already been negotiated and the ink was dry on those contracts when Hillary assumed the Secretary of State position.

There are presumed  Republicans on Twitter who are gleeful that an NBC-Marist poll Sunday shows that Bernie Sanders is ahead of Hillary Clinton in Iowa and New Hampshire.  This is but one example of the fatuousness that passes for ‘conservative’ thought these days:  ““Uh oh! Looks like Sanders is going to beat Hillary in Iowa and New Hampshire.” This is based on early polls, the type of polls which had Ross Perot and Herman Cain far ahead at this time in previous elections.

Yet, across the board, among liberals and conservatives, the activists and liars who are sampled in the early polls are in a rebellious mood.  This is the wave that breaks on the beach before the real storm comes.  Hillary knows this and knows also that when she beats Sanders back to Vermont with his tail between his legs it will look like some sort of triumph that the CNN, MSNBC sycophants will gush about. A bigger triumph will be when she does the same thing to Biden, although not without making at least a small and solicitous effort. As in: “Here are your bedroom slippers, Joe.”

How will Hillary Clinton defeat her non-opponents?  First of all, it’s a situation where less is better. The GOP has been especially good at defeating itself, especially considering that members of its fringe now have the loudest voices.

While the media is following Hillary around, anxious to ask her again and again about the government records she destroyed, she’s well advised to stay in hiding.  The less Democrats see of her, the better. Expect her to come out of hiding in well-controlled staged events where the press corps can’t get to her.  When it’s time to comment, she’ll pick favorable venues and issue well-vetted sound bites like the one she levied recently against Donald Trump and his promise to round eleven million illegals up and herd them across the Mexican border. I suppose the wall Trump says Mexico will pay for will have a giant golden door wide enough for everyone to pass through in the four years of his term.

Hillary loves Trump, prays that he’ll stay in the race right up until the end, becoming the indelible face of the GOP in another can’t lose election which they will lose.  In a closed speech before a friendly select audience, Hillary pointed to the contradiction of a party that touted small government and yet had, as their front runner, a guy who would require the most massive of government interventions. That's just a sample. It's not exactly inspired, but it will suffice against a party where the tail is wagging the dog. 

  Immigration authorities can’t handle the workload now, but the Trump reverse diaspora, Clinton points out, will require a far more massive bureaucratic processing effort, assisted by immigration agents and National Guard.  There was no mention of how the “boxcars” Clinton mentioned would pass through the Wall of Trump, but expect she’ll have further comments on Trump’s plan in the coming days.

Okay, suppose Biden runs. Biden is the typical Democratic “establishment” candidate.  That alone is enough to pull some away from the lunatic fringe the party has almost entirely become under Obama, Pelosi, Warren, Jarrett, not to mention the foreign policy apologists who manned posts at Foggy Bottom.

My guess is that Biden will decide against running after many public Hamlet soliloquys. But he’s a shot fighter, and even in his prime wasn’t much more than a journeyman, chosen by Obama to provide much needed gravitas  to an administration on training wheels. He’s generic, plain vanilla. It must have been hard for Obama to swallow down when Biden described him as “clean-cut and articulate” as if that was an anomaly for a black guy. 

Biden doesn’t have the cleverness, the slipperiness of the Clintons, he doesn’t have the money or the organization, he’s inclined to entertaining gaffes, and he’s emotionally wasted, older than in previous contests, worn out. 

So unless an indictment comes early, Hillary’s path is still as certain as it ever was. She’ll brazen it out.  She’ll claim selective amnesia and rely on the public tendency for self-delusion that produced Obama. Her biggest worry is that Trump will fall before he does enough damage to the GOP. Her greatest most irresistible desire is that he makes it all the way to GOP nomination.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Trump Claims a Silent Majority (and my hair is on fire!)

Donald Trump has resurrected the “silent majority” concept of the late sixties.  The phrase was coined in a 1969 speech by President Richard M. Nixon.  With massive demonstrations going on against the Vietnam war, many Americans disapproved of the methods and style of the message that anti-war protestors employed to make their point.  The methodology of protest was often extreme, with egregious examples like that of Jane Fonda, the American actress who posed and protested with a North Vietnamese artillery unit, atop a tank, or inspecting an enemy grenade launcher.

To some degree, there were among the “silent majority” Nixon claimed to champion people who were aghast (and terrified ) at “race riots” -- looting and burning in American cities.   Nixon was of the opinion that the media light was not shining upon the large number of far less vocal or exhibitionistic people and hence, they were “silent.”  And so he claimed them as his own, much as Trump is trying to do.  

Among this “silent majority,” there were no doubt some racists and culturally ignorant people as there are today in both major political parties.  But CNN reporter Allison Camerota (formerly of Fox News) this morning referred to Trump’s recall of the “silent majority” term as akin to a racist dog-whistle.  This is historically inaccurate and likely an intended smear of Trump in accordance with general CNN hypocrisy and principles of supporting any Democrat.  CNN and others are very happy to use Trump as clickbait, blaring his propaganda and slogans the livelong day, and will gladly sacrifice real news stories and air time to puff pieces about Trump’s hair-do. 

I’m not a Trump fan but it’s a very low blow to call him a racist, even by his own low blow standards.  I would describe him as culturally ignorant, bigoted even, but to call him a racist is a long step down a very dark road.  I’m no fan of Jorge Ramos either, but Trump’s repeated “orders” for him to “sit down, sit down, sit down” were ignorant, unsophisticated, and demeaning in the way a spoiled rich boy with inherited wealth might be to persons he considers inferior. Consider that, if you don’t agree with Trump, this inferior label includes you. 

Trump was furious when Ramos refused to act like a well- trained and obedient dog and sit upon orders from his master. There,  we got to see how much he expects everyone to fall prostrate before his billions, his catch phrases, and his bumper sticker campaign.  Instead of “silent majority,” Trump might instead substitute the term “gullible majority” or perhaps “blindly following majority.”

The “silent majority” was not silent because of one single thing like the civil rights movement, as CNN’s Allison Camerota said today.  It was silent because it didn’t believe that the hysterical street theatre of the 60s and the riots at the Democrat National Convention advanced democracy or American constitutional principles. When you consider how narrow-minded, dogmatic, and dangerous the 60s left had become (think Weather Underground In U.S. or Baader-Meinhoff gang in Europe (aka RAF – Red Army Faction),  you can almost forgive Nixon for Watergate, or Trump for his truly effective media demagoguery.  But too much of what Donald Trump says is either simplified to the point of being ridiculous or carefully calculated (against his rivals) lies.  This should not be forgiven.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

How Long Will the Trump Binge Last?

And When Will the Hangover Start?

Last night some Twitter people put me in the position of slamming Donald Trump.  I don’t dislike Trump, the businessman, never did, though I pointed out previously that he was dumb, dumb, dumb to attack Senator McCain’s (and other Vietnam war prisoners) war record. Also, his point about the border problem is well known and voiced first by other candidates. Worst of all is his generalized smear of Mexicans, great people, a hard-working and resilient people, with generally conservative values.  

I could go on, but I will just add that it was also a brain-dead move to do his little number on Fox News correspondent Megyn Kelly.  Trump has since backed off of his statement about McCain, but still sorry to say he ambushed Megyn Kelly, rather than the opposite way he played the contretemps. He knew in advance he was going to be asked a “woman question,” of course, and, knowing that the vast public masses (me included) are fed up with the media, he was scripted to bite anyone who asked a question he wouldn’t answer.

I understand, too, that Donald Trump is the most media savvy political phenomenon since Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s propaganda minister.
Media savvy or not, just about everyone can demagogue the media. It’s just that serious people who really care what happens to America choose not to play that game. Demagoging the issues, really, is getting easier all the time with the expansion of social media, something that Donald Trump recognized early on.
Trump has never made any secret of his contempt for the media and you have to say (generally) it’s rightly deserved. But many Trump reporters are either Democrats or blind followers willing to put by their moral prescriptions, their alleged conservative principles for a guy who says he supported Hillary Clinton (to buy her allegiance, you’re supposed to believe), who figured prominently in NY Mayor Bloomberg’s gun control campaign, who is or was for single payer health care, and other liberal causes.

Yes, Donald Trump has expropriated the ideas and talking points of the other GOP candidates and hyped them to the max, embellishing them, amplifying them with hyperbolic claims that sound like they’re from a Superhero comic book.  Everyone knows what he’s saying because he’s the most colorful figure to appear on the political scene since Barack Obama (no skin color pun intended). It doesn’t matter that the other candidates have said these things first, and long before Trump decided he would be a Republican.

For that matter, I am not sure he is a Republican. A real Republican would not be at all willing to hand a win to Hillary Clinton by running third party. A real Republican, running as a Republican, would make that clear from the start.  Or else Donald Trump should run as an Independent from the start. No, the Republican badge, for Trump, seems to be the outgrowth of his opportunist nature.

Yet, this colorful and animated character follows a “conservative” pattern (helping the liberal media destroy the GOP nominee or not voting for them) that gave us the Messiah Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012 and wants to replace him with Messiah Trump. Lots of people may blah-blah-blah about “principles” and then forgo them just to make themselves feel good, or to merge their identities with billionaire celebrities, hoping desperately that some crumbs will fall from his table.

With Trump, it’s not about the message, it’s about the messenger. Celebrity. All good, but what’s in it for America?  Just the hangover after the drunk.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Hillary Clinton: “Man the Lifeboats!”

You already know this. I’m one of the failed predictors who thought Hillary Clinton was the unsinkable Democrat Party nominee.  Now the HRC luxury yacht is being tossed about upon a fickle sea of Sturm und Drang and, as she tries to brazen things out, her bilge pumps aren’t working fast enough to keep the boat from sinking.

The entire Democrat Party edifice at this time hinges on manipulating public perceptions on the Iraq War, Benghazi, Server-Gate, more red lines in the sand (even while ISIS mounts chemical attacks on Iraqi Kurd Peshmergas with WMD obtained from Assad’s stockpiles or the late Saddam Hussein’s) the rising health care costs most people are experiencing as the direct result of Obamacare, the Iran Nuclear capitulation, the willful failure to secure adequate and vitally necessary status of forces agreements in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and the Democrats congressional throttling of the former Republican president’s attempts to maintain a stable Iraq after the successful surge. 

Yes, I am saying that many Democrats were willing to see Iraq and Afghanistan collapse for no other reason than to punish George W. Bush in a mass suicidal Guyana style attempt to salvage their self-fulfilling surrender monkey foreign policy. These latter failures are a national disgrace and glaring insult to the honor of the veterans and veteran’s families who suffered and died in the service of American democracy.

So then you have Hillary Clinton with her finger in the dike holding back the flood of rebellious Democrats who have gotten a whiff of the whole stinking mess.

There are several things to consider.  The Dems don’t have a fallback position unless Biden gets into the race, in which case it will have a weak one. Even Elizabeth Warren would be seen as a duplicate Bernie Sanders and it is understood she couldn’t possibly match the huge crowds Sanders has already drawn away from the center-left Democrat coalition.

President Obama has to bet either bet on a horse about which much is known and too little of it good or he has to put his faith into a second tier candidate who hasn’t yet had the courage to spell out what the public knows already from reading the newspapers.

Then there are Hillary Clinton’s repeated lies about classified information disseminated (to who knows what enemies) on her private server. Even socialist Democrat (whatever that is, exactly) Bernie Sanders hasn’t dared to comment on Hillary’s maintenance of an illegal private server to conduct the people’s business, the erasure and deep wiping of the memory, and much more.

The much more has to do with how much pressure President Obama can bring to bear on his newly appointed Attorney General, and on the FBI which has seized Hillary’s email server and is presumably trying to resurrect the data.  Or cover things up with some kind of vague blanket statement about finding it unethical but not rising to a criminal level. Look out for and read carefully between the lines about what happens now, what statements are made in this regard, and especially look to see what direction the Obama inner group is taking.

In light of the congressional inquiry, the FBI and IG investigation, Obama may think ultimately that the risk is too great to continue to prop up Hillary Clinton. After all, the relationship between Hillary and Barack wasn't ever anything more than the political equivalent of a convenient one-night stand anyway.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Fabulous Four: Trump, Kasich, Rubio, and Bush

I’ve been in absentia, too busy working on my upcoming novel “One to the Heart.” Not only that, but also because there is already too much time devoted to the 2016 race that I didn’t want to add to the detritus of early speculation.  Who needs me to perorate on these weighty matters?  Only my dog and my cat;  herein depicted in attentive and reverential pose, pretending to listen when they are hoping for extra special treats in the form of food.  That’s not much different than much of the electorate though, is it?

It’s no secret that Hillary Clinton is getting squeezed. Those anguished cries coming from the Clinton Money Machine is proof enough that Server-Gate and Bernie Sanders’ alarming and precipitous rise in voter polls is hurting the doyenne of Benghazi Lies. Does Hillary Clinton also hear footsteps padding up behind her from VP Joe Biden, quietly assessing the mood of the electorate while spending time with his family after the tragic death of his son?  These obstacles are certainly more formidable to her than the rain of barbs levied upon her by current GOP (or third party) candidate Donald Trump.
But here are my time-saving tips for watching the political show:  Trump, first of all, will continue to have his appeal although the appeal already seems to be wearing thin. His interview with Hannity just two days ago was ample indication of that.

I’m enjoying Trump, the man, though I have reservations about Trump, the president. I serious did not like his attacks on McCain’s war record, remarks which I found absurd, uninspired, and disgusting. He was on soft ground there, considering his four draft deferments during the Vietnam war.  The Rosie O’Donnell thing? Wrong, but manageable in context of the poisonous vitriol she heaped on him.  Hitting at Megyn Kelly for her question: dumb, dumb, dumb because it sounded like the whining of a spoiled billionaire. Not to mention it looked like bullying. In spite of the social media uproar Trump created in disparaging her “bleeding from the eyes or wherever” the Fox News reporter wasn’t of such great media stature as to be a worthy target. She’s just a smart, tough reporter doing her job.   In raining invective upon Kelly, Trump turned a blister into a sucking chest wound, and the entire chorus of blind followers chimed in on Twitter to vent their outrage at a question that his Democratic opponents will ask him again and again. Was Trump thinking he would, by his reaction, put the question to bed?  Think again, Donald. You’re going to have to come up with a better response than to shoot the person asking the question.

Now for the rest and the more interesting part of my rant.  The entire political world has united against Jeb Bush.  The various factions invent their own reasons.  Hillary knows he’s going to be there, that he’ll be the last man standing, and she has to deal with that.  Chris Christie, who by virtue of his Obama Beach Hug at the Wrong Time, will never get anywhere and attacked Jeb Bush yesterday in a convoluted way to raise his own profile. These people know what will get picked up in the news cycle. So Christie saying Jeb was trying to “re-litigate” the Iraq War was simply his grab at headlines.  Okay, Christie, we get it; you were a federal prosecutor. But you are straining to use the "litigate" word, banging us over the head with it.  No one's trying to "litigate" the Iraq wars-- get over yourself!  It was similar to Trump’s mention that he was against the Iraq War (don’t know if he was against it after he was before it, though).

For the rest, Marco Rubio has a good game going, as does the new face John Kasich.  I can see Kasich breaking out at some point though he is certain to face criticism from the lockstep pundits kiting Trump—people like Laura Ingraham, e.g., Mark Levine, Sean Hannity (to a lesser extent), Anne Coulter, etc.  They don't find him conservative enough while the rest of them, somewhat ironically, find him too religious.

  I like most of the GOP candidates. I’ve even warmed a little to Fattie, or at least I’m able once again to see his strengths if I can ever get by the images of the Beach Hug and jumping up and down with Gerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys franchise. 

 I probably should have stated earlier that I think Jeb Bush would be the best president of the bunch.  I’ll explain later in full detail why he’s my pick, but the short version is that the next president will face the residuals of Obama's capitulation in the Middle East and Iran. I think there will most certainly be a momentous and unforeseen attack on the homeland by ISIS or AQ inspired Islamo-Nazis. A collective amnesia has already set in.  We are constantly blasted with the meme that we are "war weary" Americans when the fact is that Obama sounded a retreat on all fronts even while George Bush handed over a stabilized Iraq.  Obama also followed behind the Europeans in bombing Libya, then becoming confused and washing his hands of the whole thing--pretending, as it were. The result was Benghazi. 

I want a war president, a thoughtful,  informed, resolute leader who  will guide America with a steady hand through what is to come. Don't think for a moment that Jeb hasn't been studying world affairs, and that he hasn't benefited from his father's and brother's experience.  It's in his blood, so to speak, and he's got the right mix of it, neither too much of sabre-rattling nor too little of action when action is warranted.

We've had a newbie over the last 7 years and I don't want to see another president doing OJT with a nuclear Iran or a Pearl Harbor type surprise attack via dirty bomb in some American city.  Screw all that meme about "another Bush" -- everyone deserves to be looked at for who they are.  I am not my brother and neither are you your brother's keeper. (For the record, I would vote again for Papa Bush or George). 

If there is good news to bring it will be that any of the Republican candidates will manage an improvement in economic conditions that will help to abate the violence, dissension, and job losses in poor American communities.  (bi-lingualism would be a plus for any applicant as will a willingness to really understand what’s going on in the inner city neighborhoods of American cities)

 I think that Kasich, Rubio, and Jeb are the ones to watch as they gain on frontrunner Trump. The thing aboutTrump is that, while his energy level is high, and while he’s injected life into the process, you still don’t know who he really is. He’s so mercurial that you either wonder what vitamins he’s taking or when he’s in talk show mode or presidential campaign mode.  I suppose the two modes have become quite the same these days, so perhaps that’s is an “unfair” observation. 

The one thing you don’t wonder about Trump, however, is his ability to rock the media back on its heels with some neat feints and combination punches. That’s impressive to me, and Trump is TBE. So, homage!  There’s almost no one who doesn’t feel the MSM deserves to get bitch-slapped for its excesses, for its focus and delight in small matters of little consequence, for its pandering and its cowardly reticence in dealing with the really hard things like Benghazi and Server-Gate.

A word must be said about Carly Fiorina. I think she flagged in the California race against super-lib-left Barbara Boxer, but who could succeed in the Left Coast anyway?  She comes to this raise as a surprise (at least I was surprised) and a steady voice on the issues. She fought back successfully at Democrat smear-mongers who know little of economics or business but feel entitled to mouth off about her being fired as HP CEO.  Boardroom battles -- if you don't ruffle any feathers you're not doing your job, she says. I haven't included her in the list though I expect her to rise and keep rising.  She's a straight shooter and honest. I'd love to see her debate Hillary but she's not my pick because of the broad policy experience problem.

Remember that Hillary was on the prosecutorial team that pilloried President Nixon for his deceptions about Watergate.  What lessons did she take from it? Did she learn to lie better, more effortlessly? Did she learn how better to cover her tracks as Secretary of State?  It would be nice indeed if she learned that she should resign from the process and make way for Sanders and Biden.

 Nice, but impossible for the Deception Diva of the center-left Democrats.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Hillary Gets a Puppy

It’s come to my attention that many of you don’t like me. Well, I’m here to tell you . . . that’s BALONEY!  EVERYONE loves me, except maybe my neighbors in Chappaqua NY where I live some of the time. 

You heard about that, did you? The nerve of them—expecting me to join them in a protest against Barack Obama’s low-income housing edict.  How would that look?  The town has already built low-income housing palaces in Chappaqua, but truth to tell, Chappaqua doesn’t have enough poor people to fill them.  It doesn’t have ANY poor people as a matter of fact. 

You get poor people hanging around your town and it’s not only your popularity numbers which will go down, but so will your housing prices.   
That idiot Rob Asterino is really trying to stir the **it—ooops, did I say that?  He makes a good buck but even he can’t afford to live here in Chappaqua.  He told you so himself. He said it on CNN – which proves it is true! 

The notion that I’m not liked comes from a phony CNN/ORC pool which says….now most of you will think this is a joke but I’m serious….that my UNFAVORABLE ratings are the highest that they’ve even been in FOURTEEN YEARS.  Ha!  Ain’t that a laugh?  Me?  Hillary Rodham Clinton! Goddam, that burns my ass. Trust what I tell you!  Didn’t I steer you right about the amateur film that led to the killing of my ambassador and three CIA types? 

I’ll tell you what the problem is, alright?  The problem is that I don’t have a cute puppy following me around like most male presidents.  Men are dogs enough, aren’t they?  Anyway, I have Bill. His favorable ratings are good enough for both of us to be president.  Of course, he will be the co-president ONLY!

Yes, that’s right. I’m assuming I will be the president. Can’t miss. People are crazy about this ‘first’ business. You know…  Jimmy Carter being the first nuclear engineer president. Barack Obama being the first Kenyan. Ooopsie!  

Anyway, I’m a first. I will be the first woman president.  All I’ve got to do is get a nice puppy to follow me around.  Allergic to puppies as I am. 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Trump: "Don't Get Shot Down

Hey, it's me -- Donald Trump.  I want to say to some of you dummies out there. Don't. Get. Captured.  You hear me?  I'll say it again.  Don't get captured!  Why? Cause I don't like people who get captured. People who get captured aren't heroes. Not to me.  I would fire them.

And let me tell you another thing. This guy...whatsisname?... McCain, yeah. This McCain fellow is not a military hero. He got himself captured. Not only that, he ruins a perfectly good jet that cost in the millions of dollars . Due to his stupidity, this McCain fellow, He gets his multi-million dollar jet shot full of holes. Hey!  I'm a businessman. What I would do instead with all that money?  You know what I would do with all that money. You think this is a cheap suit?  You think I bought it down at Canal Street?

Alright, here's another thing.  McCain's supporters are accusing me of ducking military service with five deferments. A crock of RINO hooey!  My dad wouldn't pay for five deferments.  Four!  Only four, count 'em. I'll open up my records for all to see.  And the reason I wouldn't go into the military while the Vietnam War was going on is because:

Number One:  I'm no dummy.
Number Two:  I was building American real estate empire while McCain was lounging at one of the Hilton Hotels in a very nice part of Hanoi. I know it was a nice part of Hanoi -- I built several hotels and apartment houses there, all bearing the Trump name.  That McCain?  Loser!
Number Three:  That is a combination of one and two. See? Because that's how I do arithmetic.

Alright, enough already.  I just want you to understand. McCain got his expensive jet shot right out of the sky. Not only that, he doesn't even know how to eject properly and breaks his shoulder getting out of his ruined ride.  Not too smart, is it?  You think that's bad?  He can't even parachute straight, lands in the drink, has to be hauled out of the lake by a bunch of Viet Cong boy scouts. Alright they roughed him up a little, so what? They beat the crap out of him, in fact, but why wouldn't they?  Like all the other chumps who got shot down and were in the luxury Hanoi Hilton with him, McCain was trying to bomb ammunition factories and defense industries.

Hey, I'm telling you. This McCain guy has a history!  Getting shot down over North Vietnam wasn't his first rodeo. You ever hear of the U.S.S. Forrestal? yeah, well McCain was master of disaster in that fiasco too. Lucky he wasn't killed along with the other 134 navy guys who were burned to death.  Someone accidentally fired a rocket across the ship's deck, hits McCain A-4 Skyhawk and sets a bunch of bombs exploding, blowing up the whole thing--planes, flames, men flying every which way.

That's McCain for you.  A dumb ass who gets himself captured and lounges around the Hanoi Hilton for six years while the rest of us are hard at work making real estate deals.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Clive Cussler’s “Arctic Drift” Keeps You Trapped

I dislike escapist fiction that doesn’t let you escape because it’s built on shaky ground and you become entirely too aware of what's simply wrong. Wrong as in untrue.  I’m referring right now to Clive Cussler’s book “Arctic Drift.”  The prologue was exciting and seaworthy, as the members of an expedition looking for a Northwest Passage get trapped in the ice of the arctic region. Ghost ships, dead men, their teeth rotting with scurvy—the time period is the mid 19th century.

But then we’re back to the present day—or at least we think so. It’s not the present day where the U.S. and the rest of the world is drowning in a sea of shale oil and natural gas.  It’s not that because that’s the real world. Instead you have to escape to a world where, as Cussler’s fiction says, Iran has cut off the sale of oil to the rest of the world.  In the real world, of course, Iran is desperate to sell oil and being creamed by low oil prices stemming from record U.S. production that has even the Saudis screaming.

“Arctic Drift” then goes on to detail how the U.S. president is worried about an economic crisis  caused by this scarcity of petroleum.  This occurs at the same time Cussler launches into the literary equivalent of a hissy fit over “global warming,” which, as you may know, is a contagious disease he may have picked up from standing near Al Gore.  

Friday, May 15, 2015

U.S. Cut and Run Strategy in Iraq Invited ISIS Control of Ramadi, Fallujah

From the Miami Herald today: "The Islamic State on Friday took control of the provincial government center of Ramadi, the capital of Iraq’s largest province, in a major defeat for the Iraqi government. Islamic State forces launched a fierce assault of car bombs on Iraqi government security facilities overnight, and by late afternoon, their black flag was flying over the governor’s office. Security forces appeared to be in full flight as militants consolidated control over the area and prevented anyone from leaving the area. 

Read more here:

The way CNN's playing it, (and also Rand "Barack" Paul, Ted Cruz, and Chris Crispie) you'd think that Jeb Bush's faux pas in anwering a reporter's questions about what he'd have done in Iraq was as important as the Amtrak disaster in Philadelphia, the earthquake in Nepal, or the collapse of the Iraqi government in Anbar province. Remember Ramadi and Fallujah?  Those are the places U.S. Marines, Navy Seals, Army Rangers, and allied soldiers fought for, won, and reclaimed in the Big Surge, President George Bush's big gamble that prevented  Iraq's largest and most important province from being taken over by the insurgency.

But who, except the clueless Obama, could not have predicted what would happen if the U.S. pulled all troops out of there, without leaving even a small contingent of say 10,000 there?  Obama was so desperate for a Nobel Peace Prize and to appease the political apparatchiks of the Old and New Left that he was willing to do almost anything to appear as the President of Peace no matter that a river of blood now flows through Iraq like you've never seen before.

Yes, folks, ISIS (or DAASH) has taken over the government center, the culmination of a highly visible siege that has been going on since January.  The overrunning of the government center is a major victory for ISIS commanders. As you may know, ISIS is no ragtag ill-equipped army. It's a regular force, and a strong one, well equipped with heavy weapons, which used bulldozers to push away blast walls, allowing suicide mission vehicle bombs to destroy the Iraqi government defenses.

Yet, the President of Peace and his acolytes like Republican Rand Paul preen and believe themselves occupiers of some fantasy moral high ground. This while women and children are being subjected to horrific degradation, and moderate Iraqi's are being butchered by the hundreds, and a war that was won was handed over to the modern day Attilas of ISIS or their AQ butt-buddies. The time to be worried about the moral high ground was before Obama adopted his Cut and Run Strategy.

I could ask the question "Why isn't anyone talking about this?" but that would be extraneous. I know the answer.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Weinstein Ransom Offer Paves Way for More Kidnapping

 It really burns me to hear the cheap and irresponsible sniping about the Obama administration’s targeting of Al Qaeda with drones. I’ve never been a fan of the Obama administration and have consistently pointed to its widespread foreign policy failures. But blaming the Obama administration and its military leaders and advisors for the unfortunate deaths of Dr. Weinstein and Italian aid worker LoPorto exhibits such facile and fake indignation.

Talk about cheap shots. And the really tragic aspect of this backbiting is that the cheap shots are coming from both the right and the left. Both “sides” are falling over themselves to outdo each other in the sententious overweening sweepstakes of bogus public compassion. 

What does all this public breast beating do for the kidnapping business? It’s almost as if the supposed prosecutors are lawyers for the defendants -- the defendants being kidnappers, murderers of innocent people, and haters.   

And why should anyone who opposes paying ransom to terrorists have to “prove” their concern for people who voluntarily go to dangerous places and expect to be rescued by the U.S. cavalry when things go wrong. It’s not as if terrorist kidnappings and the horrors concomitant with them are new. You’d have to live under a rock not to be aware of the possibility of being an American kidnap victim in that part of the world. 
Of course, we feel bad for the Weinstein and LaPorto families! But I feel even more sorry for the American troops who would be in the position of risking their lives to rescue them. There are many who die who do not get to choose their fate. Weinstein and LoPorto did.  There’s no reason to think Dr. Weinstein and Mr. LaPorto were anything but well intentioned humanists trying to alleviate the suffering in war-torn regions of the world. But it’s also possible that they, like Bowie Bergdahl, were hostile to U.S. policy in the region. That is no reason to die, certainly, even if it were true. 

But their deaths were accidental, as were the deaths of American heroes killed by friendly fire, helicopter accidents, or even illness while on duty. Hardly a tear of sympathy for those many forgotten heroes of other wars.

Yet, Weinstein spokespersons like former FBI agent and hostage negotiator Chris Voss can go on Fox TV with Republican pundit Pete Hegseth to blame various government agencies for failing to negotiate. Negotiate what? The terrorists walked off with $250,000 dollars of Weinstein money paid in ransom, and then told the family to bug off.  Treated them like chumps. And who did their bidding? What happened?  Please tell so that the next unfortunate family of a kidnap victim isn't similarly chumped. 

On Fox News, Voss seemed to imply that a better negotiation, or interaction between government agencies would have freed Weinstein.  Voss, you see, heads a private company that, among its other activities, consults (think aids and abets the business of kidnapping) with companies, governments, and private individuals to pay ransom to kidnappers.  For a steep price, you can bet. So the guy was a salesman. 

As for Hegseth, he simply looked intimidated and was weak in expressing what has long been U.S. policy. Don’t feed the animals – especially when it's only the wealthy elite which can afford to do so.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Hillary Clinton's Exciting Iowa Adventure (The Movie)

Disclaimer: This script refers not to real people but to fake personas which bear no resemblance to the real people whose names we borrowed. Any resemblence to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.

FADE IN:  A dark van speeding down a country road toward Iowa and the Des Moines Airport. Inside the van are a bunch of CNN reporters playing video games on their laptops.  These are the CNN Hillary Corps.

ABOVE THE CLOUDS: A Lear Jet begins its descent to the Des Moines Airport. Inside the comfortable luxury jet, HILLARY CLINTON lies on an alpaca skin couch. She is getting a back rub from two other CNN reporters, RACHEL MADDOW and CHRIS CUOMO, brother of New York Governor, ANDREW CUOMO.

CHRIS CUOMO: Are you awake, Hillary? We’re about to touch down.
HILLARY CLINTON:  Ooooooh, Chris! That feels so goooood! I never want to land. I can’t stand the thought of getting into that damned tin box on wheels. Who came up with that whackjob idea anyway?

RACHEL MADDOW:  I did, Hillary. It is important for the peons to see you as a champion of the people.
         (then she notices something that alarms her)
Chris Cuomo!  What do you think you’re doing?  I am the only one allowed to massage Hillary’s buttocks.  Keep your hands above Hillary’s  waist – back, neck, and shoulders only.

CHRIS CUOMO:  Sorry, Rachel. Whenever I see a future president, my hands just seem to develop a mind of their own.

RACHEL MADDOW:  Ooooh, Chris. I know exactly what you mean. I feel you.

HILLARY CLINTON: (irritably) Why don’t you two stop bickering?  There’s enough of me for everyone.

CHRIS CUOMO: There will never be enough of you, Hillary.  But I’m afraid you have to put on some clothes. That tank top just won’t do.

RACHEL MADDOW:  And you’ll have to lose the Yoga Pants, Hillary.

HILLARY CLINTON:  Alright – get me one of my Susanna Beverly Hills pants suits. Or should I wear Anna Wintour? Maybe Oscar de la Renta. It doesn’t matter, so long as I’m wearing the pants in the family. At least the Huffington Post will gush and write adoring articles about me.

RACHEL MADDOW: I’ll get it for you, Hillary. Could I? Please?

CHRIS CUOMO: (pushes her back) No! It’s my turn to help you dress.

Rachel Maddow and Chris Cuomo are battling it out in the aisles of the luxury Lear Jet. Hillary is watching gleefully as Chris Cuomo pulls a tuft of Rachel Maddow;s hair out.

HILLARY CLINTON:  Hey, stop fighting. We’re about to land. And I’ve got to sneak into that damn hoopty van without any reporters seeing me. Remember, you two are sworn to secrecy. No sleazy tattle-tale memoirs about my campaign. You know my motto: “If you can’t bake it, you can always fake it.”

(To be continued)