Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Janesville, Wisconsin

Donald Trump Is Bringing Message of Jobs and Trade to Paul Ryan’s Hometown

JANESVILLE, Wis. — Donald J. Trump, who has risen to front-runner status in part by channeling anti-establishment rage against Republicans, is kicking off his quest for the support of Wisconsin voters at a rally on Tuesday afternoon in Janesville, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s hometown.
Here's what I know about Janesville, Wisconsin:

Not that anyone will notice, but...

... posting for the next week or so will be pretty close to non-existent.
I will be pursuing other priorities.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

A disturbing article: "Trump Will Become President"

Trump Will Become President, Says Extremely Accurate Statistician
His statistical model has only ever been wrong once in 104 years.

Helmut Norpoth, a professor of political science at Stony Brook University, has developed a statistical model that predicts a 97 percent to 99 percent chance that Trump will win the 2016 presidential election if he wins the Republican nomination...

Norpoth's model has correctly predicted the outcome of every single presidential election since 1912 – save one, the election of 1960, which some believe was rigged. It uses a candidate’s performance in their party’s primary coupled with electoral cycle patterns to determine the likely outcome of the general election.
I doubt that the model takes into account just how loathsome Trump is, and hope that this loathsomeness will upset purely statistical considerations.

Friday, March 25, 2016

"Religious freedom"

Once-upon-a-time, the Bible was cited to justify racial discrimination & segregation.
Christian anti-Semitism is based on the Gospel of Matthew.

Now good GOP "Christians" pretend that "Christian" values demand that the LGBT community be excluded from public life... well, 'cuz G-d said so!

"Existential threat"?

Okay - to be honest, I don't recall ANY candidate saying that IS/ISIL/ISIS poses an "existential threat" to the U.S. ... but I wouldn't be surprised to learn that some GOP candidate has.
[If you've got the citation, please forward it to me!]

But - I'm betting that if any one of the GOP contenders were asked point-blank, "Is ISIS an existential threat to the U.S.?", that candidate would reply affirmatively.

How ought we respond to an "existential threat"?
Seems to me total mobilization is in order!
Deploying at least 1,000,000 troops.
Imposing severe restrictions on consumer consumption so's resources can be allocated to the WAR EFFORT.
Re-instituting the draft.
Committing the U.S. to a full-fledged military response... not just bombing or a few thousand extra troops, but a REAL war effort!

If IS/ISIL/ISIS is truly an existential threat, maybe we oughta treat it as such.

Killing more bad guys...

Pentagon: Senior ISIS Leaders Likely Killed In U.S. Operation
Ash Carter said on Friday that the group’s top finance officer and several other top figures were likely killed.

WASHINGTON, March 25 (Reuters) - Islamic State’s second in command and other senior leaders were likely killed this week in a major offensive targeting financial operations, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Friday, the latest in a series of setbacks for the militant group.
We keep killing senior bad guys.
More senior bad guys replace 'em.
This "strategy" is NOT WORKING!

115 years ago today

Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire
The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in Manhattan, New York City on March 25, 1911 was the deadliest industrial disaster in the history of the city, and one of the deadliest in US history. The fire caused the deaths of 146 garment workers – 123 women and 23 men – who died from the fire, smoke inhalation, or falling or jumping to their deaths. Most of the victims were recent Jewish and Italian immigrant women aged 16 to 23; of the victims whose ages are known, the oldest victim was Providenza Panno at 43, and the youngest were 14-year-olds Kate Leone and "Sara" Rosaria Maltese.
...
Because the owners had locked the doors to the stairwells and exits – a then-common practice to prevent workers from taking unauthorized breaks and to reduce theft – many of the workers could not escape and jumped from the high windows. The fire led to legislation requiring improved factory safety standards and helped spur the growth of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU), which fought for better working conditions for sweatshop workers.
Whenever the current GOP rails against intrusive government regulation of the "free market", this is the example I cite.

I WANT my government to protect me from rapacious, predatory capitalism!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

On the bright side...

... I'm not being paid to post...
So if I miss a few days - 'cuz the news is just horribly depressing - it doesn't really matter to me.

... and the news HAS been horribly depressing - both globally and more provincial (American politics).

So, for my loyal readers: if you note my absence, well...

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

... know yourself...

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
[The Art of War]
We ought know ourselves!

Who WE are is well-documented:
We the people of the United States, in order to
form a more perfect union,
establish justice,
insure domestic tranquility,
provide for the common defense,
promote the general welfare,
and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity,
do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

[Preamble to the United States Constitution]
Seems to me many of the GOP candidates are ignorant of this simple creed.

If you know your enemy and know yourself...

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
[The Art of War]
We do NOT know our enemy!

I assume that ISIS has a strategic purpose for seemingly random bombings in European capitals.
What is it?

Simply asserting that ISIS is nihilistic, anarchical, jihadist... well, pick your favorite adjective - this isn't meaningful.
What is it that ISIS is looking to accomplish?

I don't know the answer to this question, but unless someone figures it out we are unlikely to succeed in this war.

This, that, and t'other

A Pyrrhic victory is a victory that inflicts such a devastating toll on the victor that it is tantamount to defeat.
... then there's
The Rumsfeld Doctrine
Thomas L. Friedman of the New York Times has referred to the Rumsfeld Doctrine as one of "just enough troops to lose".
[The Rumsfeld Doctrine]
... and I'm a fan of
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
[The Art of War]
We "won" in Afghanistan.
We "won" in Iraq.

Both these "victories" now look hollow.

In both cases we adhered to the "Rumsfeld Doctrine", which comes down to using high-tech weapons systems to avoid the use of "boots on the ground".
It doesn't really work to win the peace.

Are we, as a nation, willing to commit hundreds of thousands of troops to the Mideast to win the peace?

Does anyone have any better suggestions?

What is the correct response?

Brussels attack: ISIS says it's behind terror that killed 30
... to which Ted Cruz responds:
Ted Cruz Wants Police To ‘Patrol And Secure’ U.S. Muslim Communities After Brussels
... also stating that,
“We should use overwhelming force, kill the enemy and then we should get the heck out,” he said.
... and The Donald:
Trump on Brussels: Told you so
... and advocating for torture.

Disclaimer: I don't have a clue how to attack/defeat ISIS.
("Defeat" is the better verb.)
BUT: using overwhelming force (what Cruz has previously called "carpet bombing") to "destroy the enemy" and then get out is almost certainly NOT the way to go.

A reminder of what it takes:
On V-E Day, Eisenhower had sixty-one U.S. divisions, 1,622,000 men, in Germany, and a total force in Europe numbering 3,077,000.1 When the shooting ended, the divisions in the field became the occupation troops, charged with maintaining law and order and establishing the Allied military presence in the defeated nation. This was the army-type occupation. A counterpart of the military government carpet, its object was to control the population and stifle resistance by putting troops into every nook and cranny.

[THE U.S. ARMY IN THE OCCUPATION OF GERMANY 1944-1946, by Earl F. Ziemke, CENTER OF MILITARY HISTORY UNITED STATES ARMY, WASHINGTON, D. C., 1990]
1.6 MILLION troops in the country, to maintain law and order.

As I've said repeatedly, the object of war is to win the peace.
Winning the peace means holding territory and controlling populations.
Simply getting the heck out after demolishing every building, road, rail-line, power-plant, and oil well in sight will NOT win the peace!

Again: I don't know what we ought do, but the GOP candidates's proposals don't sound all that great to me.

An aside: I'm also not too fond of the idea to "Patrol and Secure" U.S. Muslim communities.
... sounds like a first step to rounding up all the Muslims and shipping them to camps.
We've seen where that leads.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

... and one more


... just a stranger on a bus, trying to make his way home.

... more of the same

... as promised

... this post and the next few - just how i'm feelin'

Just for fun: me being a "job creator"!

The preceding two (2) posts - featuring a local barbershop quartet employed by me for our 3rd wedding anniversary - are yet more examples of me being a local "job creator".
Yep - I spend $$$ in the local economy!

... and I don't get any tax breaks for my good service.

3rd wedding annivesary - "If I Only Had a Brain"

3rd wedding anniversary - just another barbershop quartet

"Winnow"

winnow
Simple Definition of winnow
: to remove (people or things that are less important, desirable, etc.) from a larger group or list : to make (a list of possible choices) smaller by removing the less desirable choices
Here's a brief reminder:

THESE were the great GOP candidates a few months ago.

The primaries have "winnowed" these down to the best-of-the-best: Trump, Cruz, and Kasich!

Sigh.

Living in NM - politically we barely count

NM has 5 electoral votes.
Our Presidential primary elections are 7 June.

We won't see many of the candidates... ever.
Sigh.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

I'm honest

Just FYI: In a few months the GOP nominating process will have ended.
The Republicans will have a Presidential Candidate for 2016.

As many previous posts have suggested, I'm betting that the GOP candidate will be Mr. Donald Trump.

Unlike many other political commentators & pundits - many of whom get paid for their opinions - I WILL revisit my predictions in July.
If I've been right - HOORAY!
If I've been wrong - oh well, sigh.

Either way, I'll 'fess up.

You're kidding, right?

Maybe The GOP Establishment Should Have Embraced John Kasich Sooner
First Rubio.
Now Kasich?

One of these days the GOP 'establishment' will sober up & come to the realization that Mr. Donald Trump is their nominee.

Good luck with that.

The GOP 'establishment' are delusional

I keep reading about a brokered convention.
... about 'convention chaos'.
... about the "Stop Trump" movement gaining momentum.

All this punditry references the Republican Convention in Cleveland this summer.
The GOP wizards - those clearly in control, the Republican 'establishment' and the wise men - seem to take it for granted that Trump WON'T be the nominee.

I don't know what the rules are, but I assume that if a candidate shows up with the requisite majority of delegates - 1237 is the magic number - then that candidate WILL be the GOP's 2016 Presidential nominee.

I've seen nothing to suggest that Mr. Trump will not arrive at the Convention with at least that total.

Am I delusional, or are the GOP 'establishment' wizards those with the really good drugs?
(... and could they maybe give me the names of their dealers?)

Note: it's NEWS when someone other than Trump wins! - most recently Kasich in Ohio.
"Dog bites man" is not news; "Man bites dog" IS news.
When it's newsworthy that ANYONE other than Trump wins a primary, my inference is that Mr. Trump is the odds-on favorite to win the nomination.

What a nice pink rug!

No, Donald Trump Won’t Win
David Brooks, NYT Op-Ed, 4 Dec 2015

A little while ago I went rug shopping. Four rugs were laid out on the floor and among them was one with a pink motif that was dazzlingly beautiful. It was complex and sophisticated. If you had asked me at that moment which rug I wanted, I would have said the pink one. This conviction lasted about five minutes. But then my mentality flipped and I started asking some questions. Would the furniture go with this rug? Would this rug clash with the wall hangings? Would I get tired of its electric vibrancy?

Suddenly a subtler and more prosaic blue rug grabbed center stage. The rugs had not changed, but suddenly I wanted the blue rug. The pink rug had done an excellent job of being eye-popping on its own. The blue rug was doing an excellent job of being a rug I could enjoy living with.
Yeah, so now I'm thinkin' - Hey, that pink rug don't look so bad!

Ya know, well, maybe in a coupla months I'll be tired of it, but right now it looks pretty darn good!

Okay - nah, it don't look too good with the rest of the d├ęcor, but it's only for a coupla months - I can live with it... and it looks REALLY COOL!
I can't wait to show it off!!!

The blue rug? - toss it!
I might like it now, but it's BORING!

It's only for a coupla months, right?
I mean, I can go back to the rug store later... that is, IF the pink rug was really a mistake.
... But maybe it's not a mistake - maybe I really WANT the pink rug!

... if I rearranged the furniture just a bit, maybe brought the armoire into the study, moved the desk to the living room,... and replaced those hideous wall-hangings my wife is so darn attached to... YEAH - that'd work!

Go away!
I LIKE the pink rug!!!
I'm gonna keep it!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

I DO hope SOMEONE is paying attention!

"All I know is what’s on the Internet," Trump said.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Only 12?

Top 12 Reasons This Is The Most Depressing Election Ever
Somehow this quotation seems appropriate:
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death.

Out, out, brief candle!

Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more.

It is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.


[Macbeth, Act V, scene 5]

Symmetry

Our 3rd anniversary was Saturday, 12 March.
According to Wikipedia, we're still newlyweds.
This pic was taken a coupla days before, at the ABQ zoo:

Let's hope not

This Election Is 1968 All Over Again, And That's Not A Good Thing
Me?

I REALLY don't want to re-live 1968.
MLK assassinated. (4 April)
Robert Kennedy assassinated. (4/5 June)
Soviet Union invaded Czechoslovakia, ending the Prague Spring. (20 August)
Nixon elected. (5 November)

It was the year I became politically aware, but I don't miss it.
I'd prefer to witness no assassinations this year.
The mess in the Middle East is bad enough already - please: no surprise escalations!
... and PLEASE: could we possibly NOT elect The Donald!

Friday, March 11, 2016

He used to be our Governor!

Meet The Third Party
If you're a Republican who can't stand to vote for Donald Trump, Gary Johnson might be your guy.

Does Donald Trump even lift, bro?

That was the implied question behind Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson's address to the Conservative Political Action Conference last week, as the former two-term New Mexico governor rattled off his various athletic accomplishments -- a lousy strategy if you're crafting a Tinder profile, but it certainly made for an attention-grabbing stump speech.

Yeah - two-term Governor of NM, now an "extreme" athlete.
If you're looking for a Libertarian alternative... why not?

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

A quick quiz

Which of the following is found in the United States Constitution?:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

... government of the people, by the people, for the people...

In God we trust.

Do to others as you would have them do to you.

One nation, under God.

America, God shed his grace on thee.

... the land of the free and the home of the brave.

A brief reminder

The following is the poem, "The New Colossus", on our Statue of Liberty:
The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
... and then there's the Declaration of Independence, which is a weird document.

It has no legal standing.
It is a list of complaints against George III, trying to justify the Colonies's assertion of independence.
Among the many complaints:
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither
Yep - George III endeavored to prevent immigration!...
... sounds sorta familiar... a LOT like the current crop of GOP contenders!

Recall - the GOP contenders just LOVE the Declaration of Independence...
... mainly 'cuz it cites
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness
It's that Creator bit that gets folks all excited.

The Founders were up against a wall.
Historically... like FOREVER... "rights" had been things granted to vassals by lieges.
Magna Carta is based on this political framework - the King grants certain RIGHTS owed the barons.

If you demand "rights", those "rights" must be granted by SOMEONE.

The Founders pretty much gave up.
Who gives us rights, if we are not bound to our King, George III?
Must be our "Creator"!

'Twas a novel solution to a sticky problem...
... but now it's allowed the GOP to assert that the United States was founded on Christianity.

Perhaps if Jefferson had had more foresight, he'd have come up with some other formulation that allowed us to assert our rights!

"Our" roadrunner

... He visits us about once every 2 weeks - apparently attracted by our snails.
This is the first time he's posed for us! - on our front walkway:

RIP George Martin

George Martin, Legendary Music Producer Who Worked With The Beatles, Dead At 90
George Martin, the music industry legend who worked on nearly every Beatles recording, died on Tuesday night. He was 90.

Poor Marco...

Alternative title: Kickin' Him When He's Down.

I doubt Rubio will adopt this as his campaign song, but at this point... well, why not?

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Hydra

Lernaean Hydra
... for every head chopped off, the Hydra would regrow one or multiple heads
I mention this in response to...
'Omar The Chechen,' ISIS' Minister Of War, Likely Killed In U.S. Airstrike
An Islamic State commander described by the Pentagon as the group's "minister of war" was likely killed in a U.S. air strike in Syria, U.S. officials said on Tuesday, in what would be a major victory in the United States' efforts to strike the militant group's leadership.
We keep killing "leaders" of IS and al-Qaeda.

Somehow the organizations survive.
For every "head" we kill, MANY grow back.

At some point we need to recognize that waging war means winning the peace.
It's not enough to kill bad guys.
There really is a "hold territory & control populations" aspect to this.

Air power? Great for blowing stuff - and people - up.
Not so good at holding territory & controlling populations.

ISIS & al-Qaeda are pretty good at the "controlling populations" bit.
They terrorize the locals, making resistance difficult.

... T.E. Lawrence was right:
This is from a fellow blogger:
T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) figured it out and wrote it down in his book The Seven Pillars of Wisdom. Wonderfully available on the web free of charge. (Public domain is soooo nice.)
Then I figured out how many men they (Turks) would need to sit on all this ground, to save it from our attack-in-depth, sedition putting up her head in every unoccupied one off those hundred thousand square miles. I knew the Turkish Army exactly, and even allowing for their recent extension of faculty by aeroplanes and guns and armoured trains (which made the earth a smaller battlefield) still it seemed they would have need of a fortified post every four square miles, and post could not be less than twenty men. If so they would need six hundred thousand men to meet the ill-wills of all the Arab peoples, combined with all the active hostility of a few zealots.
My friend Pat then quotes me:
FYI: using the "20 men every 4 square miles" rule equates to a force in Afghanistan of about 1.25Mn! Given modern communication systems, improved war-making technology, etc., suppose Lawrence's estimate could be halved: that's still more than 600K troops. ... and this seems close to the troop/area ratio Shinseki had in mind for Iraq when he proposed a force of "several hundred thousand" needed to pacify the country following the invasion (taking "several" to mean 3-5... middle = 400K).
Bottom line:
Simply killing the bad guys is NOT going to win this war!

How do we win the peace?

Monday, March 7, 2016

If only...

GOP folks invoke Reagan at every turn.
Best President EVER!!!

Based on evidence, Clinton was a much BETTER President...
... BUT:
Dear Old Bill couldn't keep his fly closed!

If Bill Clinton had somehow managed to keep his fly closed, maybe the Dem candidates could cite HIM as the BEST PRESIDENT EVER!

After all, when Clinton left office we had a budget SURPLUS!
The middle-class had in fact experienced economic GROWTH!
We weren't at war with ANYONE!

The Clinton Presidency was in fact a HUGE success...
... BUT - he couldn't keep his fly zipped.

When JFK was my age...

... he'd been dead for 17 years.

... more Golden Age for Linguistics

Embedded Narratives and Cognitive Linguistics Explain Trump's Followers

A Golden Age for Linguistics

... well, at least a Golden Couple of Months!
What Language Experts Find So Strange About Donald Trump
Politicians use big words. Trump does not.
When ThinkProgress asked University of Pennsylvania linguistics professor Mark Yoffe Liberman about Trump’s speech, he decided to do a rough comparison to another presidential candidate: Jeb Bush. We sent him the transcripts of both Trump and Bush’s announcement speeches, plus some press conferences and one-on-one interviews.

What he found was that Bush talks, predictably, like most politicians. His most-used words are rather big and policy-like — “strategy,” “government,” “president,” and “American” all placed in his list of top 13 words. Six out of those 13 are one syllable, like “growth” and “state.” His favorite word is “the.”

Trump, on the other hand, leaned away from multiple-syllable words and stuck with low-brow, simple vocabulary. His first most-used word was “I,” and his fourth favorite was “Trump.” The report found that eight of his top 13 words were monosyllabic, and the words that had two syllables were the words “very” and “China.”

You may have seen this already...

George Takei, as Trump answering the question, "What is 2+2".

Donald Trump answers the question: What is 2+2? (Credit: Steven Edwards)"I have to say a lot of people have been...

Posted by George Takei on Sunday, March 6, 2016

Just in case you don't feel like linking to FaceBook to read the full post:
George Takei's New Post About Donald Trump Is Going Viral
"I have to say a lot of people have been asking this question. No, really. A lot of people come up to me, and they ask me. They say, 'What's 2+2'? And I tell them, look, we know what 2+2 is. We've had almost eight years of the worst kind of math you can imagine. Oh, my God, I can't believe it. Addition and subtraction of the 1s the 2s and the 3s. It's terrible. It's just terrible. Look, if you want to know what 2+2 is, do you want to know what 2+2 is? I'll tell you. First of all the number 2, by the way, I love the number 2. It's probably my favorite number, no it is my favorite number. You know what, it's probably more like the number two but with a lot of zeros behind it. A lot. If I'm being honest, I mean, if I'm being honest. I like a lot of zeros. Except for Marco Rubio, now he's a zero that I don't like. Though, I probably shouldn't say that. He's a nice guy, but he's like, '10101000101,' on and on, like that. He's like a computer! You know what I mean? He's like a computer. I don't know. I mean, you know. So, we have all these numbers, and we can add them and subtract them and add them. TIMES them even. Did you know that? We can times them OR divide them, they don't tell you that, and I'll tell you, no one is better at the order of operations than me. You wouldn't believe it. So, we're gonna be the best on 2+2, believe me."

Saturday, March 5, 2016

I'm REALLY TIRED...

... of Hitler/Nazi comparisons.
Donald Trump Asks Supporters To Raise Right Hand In A Scene Straight Out Of Nazi Germany
As odious as Trump may be - and he IS loathsome! - He is NOT Hitler.

For that matter, neither is Cruz, or Rubio, or any of the other GOP contenders.

Their proposed policies truly suck, they appeal to the baser instincts of our nature, ... BUT - not a one of 'em is Hitler!...
... and WE are NOT Weimar Germany.

When we "right-thinking" folks on the left ridicule the hate-mongering on the right, let US try to keep the discourse civil.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Brawl? ... or KO ... or TKO???

From HuffPost:
GOP Activists Increasingly Concerned The Republican Convention Will Be A Brawl
With Donald Trump as the front-runner, a fractured party is barreling toward a clash later this summer.
The article then goes on to say that, nope, this'll be straight-forward - the "nomination will be neatly wrapped up before the party's convention later this summer".

That's the way I'm leaning right now.

No brawl - a simple KO.
Trump - small hands and all - will KO the competition.

Bye-bye Ben...

... or perhaps "night-night" would be more appropriate:
Ben Carson Formally Suspends Presidential Campaign
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson is officially suspending his presidential campaign, he announced during a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday.
Somnambulant is NOT a good way to conduct a presidential campaign.

The Interstate Highway System

Wow! - What an EXCITING topic!

When I was a kid we - well, my folks - drove us from Casper, Wyoming to Chicago every summer.
The trip was "scenic" - on state and U.S. highways, passing through every little town (e.g., Chugwater, Wyoming).
As the young passenger, I loved it!
Among other joys were the Burma Shave jingles on fence-posts at the side of the road:
Drowsy?
Just remember, pard
That marble slab
Is doggone
Hard
Burma Shave
"Scenic"? Yes!
Quick? No.
The Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways (commonly known as the Interstate Highway System, Interstate Freeway System, Interstate System, or simply the Interstate) is a network of controlled-access highways that forms a part of the National Highway System of the United States. The system is named for President Dwight D. Eisenhower who championed its formation. Construction was authorized by the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956, and the original portion was completed 35 years later...
[Interstate Highway System]
This was back in the glorious days when the Federal Government BUILT stuff, and the top marginal tax rate exceeded 90%! - under that Commie-pinko fellow-traveler Eisenhower!

Seldom a day goes by that I don't take advantage of the Interstate Highway System - just here in Albuquerque: I-40 and I-25!
(FYI: New Mexico is the ONLY state in which there's just ONE intersection of Interstate Highways.
It's called the Big-I locally. ... about two miles from my house.)

Anyway ... TODAY?
Bridges collapse.
Roads are in disrepair.
We seem to have the lost the national will to BUILD stuff!

How'd that happen?

A repost

NOW the GOP is anti-Trump?
PUH-LEEZE: don't go flipping out about Mr. Trump.
He is YOUR creature!
Just for fun: an open letter to the GOP
The Donald embodies everything the GOP has been for the past 35+ years!
Racist? - Yep.
Xenophobic? - Yep.
Untruthful (lying)? - Yep.
Rich? - YEP!
Authoritarian? - Yep.

How 'bout compassionate, concerned about the middle-class, Constitutional?
Well... not so much.

Mr. Trump is the epitome of the Grand Old Party.
Be honest with yourselves: EMBRACE him!

11th GOP debate...

... Darn! I missed it.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Billionaires attack!!!

At a time when the median household income hasn't strayed from $50K/year in... forever, we have THESE guys attacking each other:
Mitt Romney Lambasts Donald Trump As A 'Phony' And 'Fraud' In Blistering Speech

Donald Trump responds to Mitt Romney's speech
Trump calls Romney "a lightweight."
Why does this seem ... strange to me?

Today I'm optimistic

Previously:
When I'm optimistic, I hope Trump is the GOP nominee.

When I'm pessimistic, I fear Trump is the GOP nominee.
Today I'm optimistic.

In addition to the previous post's suggestions for a pre-fab ad campaign, there's also:
This man thinks $1M is a SMALL loan!

... and his always quick denials - "I never said that," when confronted with things he really DID say.
What happened to Truman's "The buck stops here"?
... well, okay, invoking Truman may not be the best tactic, but the basic ideas are fine:
This man has NO CLUE what it means to be a middle class American.

and

This man will say ANYTHING to get elected, and DENY anything he's said before! - can you trust him?
... so, at the moment, I'm hoping the "Never Trump" movement in the GOP fails!

Pre-fab ad campaign

... alternative title: "I hope someone is paying attention."

Supposing - not unrealistically - that Mr. Trump is the GOP nominee, the Dem nominee - whether Sanders or Clinton - has a ready-made anti-Trump ad campaign at hand.
All that's needed is to compile quotations around three related themes:
1. The GOP hates Trump.
Today REPUBLICAN foreign-policy gurus published a condemnation of Trump... AND Mr. Romney begged voters to reject Mr. Trump as a phony and a fraud.
This is what his fellow Republicans think of him!

2. Trump has frequently expressed what some might call hateful - others perhaps simply "disrespectful" - language regarding immigrants, Hispanics, Muslims, his fellow candidates, and just about everyone else who has at one time or another snubbed him.
Collect these clips: "The candidate speaks!"

3. As suggested previously, collect clips of Trump joyfully proclaiming his willful ignorance:
"I just don't know..."
"I don't know about... "
There oughta be a LOT to choose from.
Do we really want a President who knows so little about so much?
I'll assume that both Sanders & Clinton have already directed their staffs to start working on these... and that the various PACs supporting each candidate are doing the same.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Why?

GOP strategist Castellanos: Time to rally around Trump, ‘too late to ask mommy to step in and rewrite rules’
By Tom Hamburger and Matea Gold
March 2
"If Trump is going to be our nominee, as I believe he is, it is our mission to support Trump and make him the best nominee and president possible."

Lindsey Graham: "We're gonna lose to Hillary Clinton" with Donald Trump
By Rebecca Kaplan
CBS News
March 2, 2016
"Ted Cruz is not my favorite by any means and I don't wish him ill,...but we may be in a position where we have to rally around Ted Cruz as the only way to stop Donald Trump and I'm not so sure that would work," he [Graham] said.
It's not clear from "establishment" GOP critics whether they fear Trump because...
They think he'll lose to Hillary...
... or he'll shred the GOP...
... or he'll make a horrible President.
... or perhaps some combination of these three.

With the exception of the now-clearly-delusional Rubio supporters, the "establishment" folks seem to have come to the realization that their Hobson's choice is between Trump and the equally loathsome Cruz.

Why can't they be honest (AND patriotic) and simply say, "We messed up. A loyal Republican American ought to stay home come November."

Heck - it may even be strategically wise:
1. Avoids the possibility of a DISASTROUS GOP Presidency.
(... from which Dems would benefit in 2020.)

2. Offers the possibility of a DISASTROUS Democratic Presidency from which GOP can benefit come 2020!
No one likes Trump (well, no one except his extremely energized supporters - currently less than 50% of the GOP!).
No one likes Cruz.
Why is it necessary to support either of 'em?

Just askin'.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Ass and his Purchaser

A fable of Aesop:
A man who wanted to buy an Ass went to market, and, coming across a likely-looking beast, arranged with the owner that he should be allowed to take him home on trial to see what he was like.

When he reached home, he put him into his stable along with the other asses.
The newcomer took a look round, and immediately went and chose a place next to the laziest and greediest beast in the stable.

When the master saw this he put a halter on him at once, and led him off and handed him over to his owner again.
The latter was a good deal surprised to see him back so soon, and said,
"Why, do you mean to say you have tested him already?"
"I don't want to put him through any more tests," replied the other.
"I could see what sort of beast he is from the companion he chose for himself."


Moral:
"A man is known by the company he keeps."
Mr. Trump is loved by David Duke, Vladimir Putin, and Jean-Marie Le Pen.