Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Continuing what is now a 9-year-old tradition:
From al Qaeda in Albuquerque, 22 Nov 2007:
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.
It's secular - religious overtones are secondary.
It's American - the rest of world goes on happily without us.

Most of all, for me the basic premise - giving thanks - is a good thing.
Yes, I am thankful for my family, for my undeserved good-fortune in life, for friends.

Most of my family is in town. None of us started out here - we all just ended up here.
I've 3 sisters. 2 of 'em are in town, with their husbands.
My mom is in town.

So: Happy Thanksgiving, with friends & family!
An update is needed:
My mom died in 2012.
One of my sisters died in October of this year.

Yes, there have been losses.

BUT: I've remarried, to a very beautiful, wonderful, caring, generous woman - Melissa.
... and I almost forgot: we have a new grandson! - Hunter:

So... well, YEAH - Thanksgiving continues to be my favorite holiday!

I AM thankful for my family, for my undeserved good-fortune in life, for friends!

So: Happy Thanksgiving, with friends & family!

Too little, too late

Josh Marshall over at TPM hit the nail on the head:
That's Why We Do This
We cover the weird, dark, outrageous and surreal in our politics because these things are much more important than most people - especially most political observers - care to admit. I thought of this when I read this high-minded and starchy editorial in yesterday's Washington Post, the upshot of which is that while they've tried to do the right thing and ignore Donald Trump's clown car campaign, they simply can't do it anymore. The time has now come to stand up to Trump's bullying! And, the Post insists, Republicans must now do so too.
This encapsulates pretty much entirely the myopia of so much American political journalism. Sometimes readers will write in to say 'Why are you writing so much about Trump?' or Steve King or Michele Bachmann or Death Panels or whatever the latest thing is. 'You've just given them oxygen. If people ignored them, they'd go away.'
A lot of people, a lot of liberals, or what we might better call people of cosmopolitan political sensibilities, live in this fantasy world wherein what they ignore either doesn't exist or will be shooed out of existence by their refusal to pay attention to it. This is, needless to say, not true. That's why many Democrats are continually surprised that things they think are straightforward or commonsensical turn out to be deeply controversial or even politically impossible. Or conversely, why so many preposterous claims are widely accepted as either possible or true. Why do so many people think the President is a Muslim?
Since July or thereabouts, the very serious people in the professional political punditry class have been predicting the demise of The Donald.
Each new gaff, they have claimed, foretells the end of his campaign.


More recently, the very serious professionals have stopped making these predictions.
Good for them!

Now, they're going after Trump - attacking him! ... as evidenced by the "high-minded and starchy" editorial board of the Washington Post cited above.
"By God, if he won't self-destruct, WE'LL launch our nuclear arsenal against him!" - so our wise men now tell us.

The latest salvos?
Trump is a Fascist! - a nascent Hitler!

As it happens, I agree with this assessment... BUT - does anyone really believe that this informally coordinated attack (both liberal & conservative outlets are saying much the same thing) will do any damage?
I don't.

BUT - if The Donald IS elected next November, and the Capitol burns down in February... well, maybe we should have paid attention!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Bill Kristol should be happy

Putin Accuses Turkey Of Backing ISIS After It Downs Russian Warplane In Syria
Oh, good - we're going to war with Russia.
Our NATO ally, Turkey, just shot down a Russian fighter.

Bill Kristol should be delighted.
Maybe he'll use his influence to get age restrictions waived and join the military.

Free advice for the GOP (Honest!)

A math problem (just to acknowledge my former profession):
Which is larger:
100% of a 6" personal pan pizza,
51% of a 20" family-size pizza?
Donald Trump continues to lead in polls of likely GOP primary voters.
Latest numbers are above 30%.

I highlighted the target audience, likely GOP primary voters, for a reason.
Here's an excerpt from a speech to stockholders given by Larry the Liquidator in the 1991 film Other People's Money:
And you know the surest way to go broke? Keep getting an increasing share of a shrinking market. Down the tubes. Slow but sure.
"Likely GOP primary voters".
Thanks in part to The Donald, that group does NOT include Hispanics, or Blacks, or Muslims, or... well, or just a lot of fairly decent folks.
It DOES include a rapidly shrinking, aging white constituency.

Good luck with that!

Monday, November 23, 2015

As American as Superman!

From loyal reader TedTheCat:

Mental illness & the GOP

Trump Doubles Down On Claim He Saw Thousands Cheer In N.J. On 9/11
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has shown he is not one to back down.

In fact, when he was questioned by ABC News today about his assertion that "thousands and thousands of people" cheered the collapse of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11 just across the river in New Jersey, Trump doubled down.

"It did happen. I saw it. It was on television. I saw it," Trump said.
But, yes, surely Trump is the ONLY GOP candidate who "saw" this, yes? NO!
Ben Carson joined GOP rival Donald Trump in claiming that he, too, saw news footage of Muslim-Americans cheering as the World Trade Center towers fell on Sept. 11, 2001

The leading GOP candidates have a serious mental illness:
Hallucinations are false perceptions, inaccuracies that affect our senses & cause us to hear, see, taste, touch or smell what others do not. In the acute phases of schizophrenia, patients are likely to insist they are hearing voices that no one else can hear. Sometimes they hear noises, clicks or non-word sounds. On occasion they are disturbed by seeing, smelling or feeling things that others do not.
( Understanding and responding to symptoms of schizophrenia)
Okay - to be fair to Dr. Carson, he later admitted that he'd mistaken the Middle East for New Jersey!
(This could be a pretty good SNL skit, if anyone's paying attention!!!)

"Pay it Forward"

My mind is a-jumble trying to come up with a coherent response to the madness.
In addition to the leading GOP candidates suggesting a database to track Muslim citizens, today there was this:
Gun-Toting Islamophobic Group Protests Outside Texas Mosque
In the latest anti-Islamic incident to take place following the Paris attacks, demonstrators in Irving, Texas, protested on the sidewalk outside a mosque with guns, Islamophobic signs and American flags.

What can I say that has some even slightly positive impact?

My solution: use the theme of the 2000 movie, Pay it Forward.

In the movie, a middle-school student is challenged by his teacher to come up with a project that will change the world.
His solution? Do a kindness for three (3) strangers, and ask each of them to repeat this - each doing a kindness for three other strangers, and so on.
Turns out, it works, and the movie follows the good deeds of the strangers impacted by the kid's original kindness.
(At the end of the movie, the kid is killed by Donald Trump... well, no - not by Trump, but he is killed.)

What has this to do with PrivateBuffoon & the current political mess?
Less than you might imagine, but something.

I'm betting that most of my hundreds of thousands of followers share my political views.
Individually, each one of us has little political power.
BUT - as a bloc, we can maybe help just a little.

If you are not now registered to vote, REGISTER today!
... THEN urge at least three of your like-minded friends to do the same.

Now comes the hard part: VOTE!

At each step, encourage others to REGISTER and to VOTE.

There is some chance - at the moment it looks to be not all that small a chance - that we could be welcoming the bigoted, xenophobic, paranoid "circus clown" into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in a little over a year UNLESS the sane ones among us come out in FORCE to VOTE!

So, do me a favor: mobilize your like-minded friends to vote (for what may indeed be only the lesser of two evils) next November... and ask them to do the same - get others out to the polls next November.