Sunday, February 07, 2016

Yes, Ted Cruz is That Bad

This is without question the most surreal, Twilight Zonish election cycle that I’ve ever witnessed, and I’ve survived 10 different administrations during my lifetime. We have a Democratic socialist versus a moderate, establishment Dem, and a cast reunion of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” on the Republican side. Of all the outrageous lies and accusations that have been spewed by Trump, et. al., perhaps the most telling moment of the campaign so far for me was an unscripted moment between Ted Cruz and one of his daughters.

No one likes Ted Cruz with the exception of a small sliver of neurologically underdeveloped white evangelical Christians, who wouldn’t care if he sacrificed a goat onstage and drank its blood as long as his speeches are peppered with the appropriate code words that all translate into “We privileged white Christians are under attack and we must fight back. I will lead our holy army.”

The Cruz problem that the rest of us have is that he’s a smarmy, self-righteous liar who will do and say anything to win the Republican nomination. Come on, you say, can he really be that bad? I respond confidently with, “Yes, he can.”

Witness one Rafael Edward “Ted” Cruz, a Republican Presidential candidate and family man with two daughters. The video was supposed to be a tender, “behind-the-scenes” clip of Cruz demonstrating his “warmth” by hugging his oldest daughter, but then reality struck. As Cruz approaches his daughter Caroline, she begins flicking her finger at him in an awkward, “Don’t come any closer” gesture. But father Cruz, not wanting to let the potential aw-inspiring ad spot be wasted, pushes toward the girl, smiling insanely, and then grabbing her as if she is throwing an uncontrollable temper tantrum. Caroline pushes against him with her hands until he finally lets her down, his phony smile disappearing as she runs away from him.

Wow. The members of your own family treat you like a creepy stranger. The problem for Ted is that the longer the election cycle, the more you get to know him and the less you like him. In recent interviews, even his college roommates and acquaintances dissed him for being an arrogant, religious ass.

All of the Republican candidates have their unique problems that should disqualify them from holding any elected office, let alone the Presidency, but as we see and hear more and more of Ted Cruz the man, it is becoming apparent he may in fact, be the worst of the lot. And that, friends, is pretty damn bad.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Random “After-the-Iowa-caucus” thoughts:

Very happy to see that Bernie Sanders did as well as he did against Hillary in Iowa. It’s especially gratifying to watch someone fight against the Goliath Democratic election machine backing Hillary and pull out a David-like win (with a virtual tie).  Historically, Iowa hasn’t been a good barometer for who will actually win the nomination, but it seems to me that if Bernie can generate the kind of enthusiasm and involvement he had in Iowa, he can do that in other states as well.

Cruz, Rubio and Trump come out on top on the Republican ticket, in that order.  Alternate media is having a field day with Trump’s loss to Cruz, but again, what happens in Iowa is not a reliable predictor of who will eventually win the nomination. Trump is still very much in the race, but we can relish his “loser” status for a bit.

Speaking of the despicable Ted Cruz, just today he sent out a mailer to his supporters that is so far over the op it’s not even visible by the human eye. Claiming America is “under assault” from Islamic fanatics, it has an image of the Lincoln Memorial with old Abe dressed up like an ISIS terrorist strapped with an AK47, scarf-covered face and large hunting knife in one hand. The fear mongering here is off the charts, with absolutely no facts to support his wild assertions. The copy is all sixth-grade bluster about killing the terrorists and restoring America’s greatness. Trump is a narcissistic blowhard, but Cruz is something even more evil and diabolical. His religious values are medieval and he seems to take them very seriously, and you know if he were elected President he would do everything in his power to turn America into a theocracy.  With Trump we’d at least get some entertainment value watching Richie Rich convert the White House into a casino.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Do Those Who Endorse Hillary Realize How Broken America Is?

It’s disappointing, but not entirely surprising, to read that people and organizations you respect are endorsing Hillary Clinton for President, like Al Franken, Paul Krugman, LGBT Group, Human Rights Campaign and even Barack Obama. Krugman, Obama and others are arguing that real change (which Obama promised, but failed to deliver) requires strategic, incremental steps, and won’t be accomplished by someone as radical as Bernie Sanders. In other words, Hillary is the safe, establishment Democrat who won’t upset the oligarchs who actually run America.

There is a sense of hopelessness in all of this. Establishment Democrats seem to be throwing in the towel and admitting that we have a broken system that is beyond repair, and Hillary won’t rock the boat by trying. Everyone is afraid of Sanders except a huge chunk of the American people, who are trying to make change happen before our streets ignite in protests, and perhaps violence, over our unresponsive, undemocratic government. 

While the establishment Democrats endorse one of their own to take the helm of our sinking ship America, Republicans continue their assault on democracy. Senator Mitch “Yurtle the Turtle” McConnell introduced a resolution for the authorization of military force that gives the President more unilateral power to wage war across the globe, essentially cutting Congress out of the process and giving the President the powers of a dictator. Democratic Senator Chris Murphy calls it “…a total rewrite of the War Powers Clause in the U.S. Constitution.” 

The radical right in this country does not believe in democracy, and, with its numbers quickly dwindling, it is using what power it has left to bring about their preferred form of government, a fascist dictatorship. They have already succeeded in creating an oligarchy, but that’s not enough. If they ever get another one of their own in the White House, they want him to have Putin-like powers to force their deluded ideology onto the American people and crush dissent quickly and violently. Sounds like a Trump rally, doesn’t it?

As President, Hillary Clinton will not stand up to the oligarchs because she is one of them. Her husband did their bidding in the 1990s and she will continue to do it as President. The Democratic Hillary endorsers are the true political cynics of the day, weak-need enablers who, for a variety of reasons (none of them good), feel it is preferred to “work within the system” instead of fighting it. The problem with this is that the system is far beyond the point of a few tweaks here and there to set things right. Washington has become a façade like an Old West movie set, a cover for the dark forces to work behind for their own agenda, and Bernie Sanders is the only candidate willing to take on these puppet masters. It’s a Quixotic effort to be sure, but to do nothing, or elect someone President who will do nothing,  is not an option.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

A Song Commemorating the Bundy Siege

Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Morons
(To the tune of…well, you know)

Morons ain't easy to love and they're harder to hold.
They’re heads are all empty and hearts that are icy cold.
Holding a gun they like to play tough
But anger is all they know
Most don’t understand him, and don’t care to try
They just want him to go

Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be morons.
Don't let 'em hear Rush or listen to country songs.
And don’t let them vote for Trump.
Mamas don't let your babies grow up to be morons.
'Cos they'll never be right and just want to fight.
For every idea that is wrong

Morons like smoky old back rooms and facts they make up
FOX bloviators and gas-guzzling pick up trucks.
They love the word freedom but clearly don’t know what it means
or how a democracy works
His thoughts are a jumble of clichés and myths
Let’s face it he’s clearly a jerk.

Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be morons.
Don't let 'em hear Rush or listen to country songs.
And don’t let them vote for Trump.
Mamas don't let your babies grow up to be morons.
'Cos they'll never be right and just want to fight.
For every idea that is wrong.

Monday, January 25, 2016

The Big Picture of the American Economy, and It's Not Pretty

Since 1978, the cost of:*

College tuition has increased by 1,120%

Medical care has increased by 601%

Food has increased by 244%

Shelter has gone up by 380%

Meanwhile, the pay of:

A typical worker rose by just 10%

Minimum wage workers fell by 5.5%

The average CEO increased by 937%

*Sources: EPI, Bloomberg, US Labor Department

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Palin and Trump: The Real Life Dumb and Dumber

If you haven’t seen Sarah Palin’s speech endorsing Donald Trump for President, you are missing out on an unforgettable moment in political theater.  Sporting a tinsel covered shawl, Alaska’s favorite deranged daughter delivered a word salad of unhinged attacks on Obama, the “lamestream media” and, somewhere in the cacophony of sounds, endorsed Donald Trump for President.

Like the head cheerleader at a high school pep rally, Palin became more animated and her voice grew louder as she blathered on in her attempt to rally the mindless around her favorite billionaire and garner a job in the Trump administration should, God help us all, that become a reality. As for the Donald, he stood uncomfortably at her side, arms dangling helplessly, with a tense grin that screamed, “Please shoot me now.”

With a combined IQ in double digits and the vocabulary of a fourth grader, Palin and Trump represent the absolute worst America has to offer, and they truly deserve each other. Palin may have a drinking problem, as some have suggested, but it’s her thinking problem that is the biggest threat to America’s future.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Obama, Sanders and the Shadow Government

I just watched an interesting interview of NSA whistleblower Russ Tice. His name is not well known, but he was one of the very first whistleblowers to reveal that the NSA was illegally spying on everyone, including politicians, media outlets and private citizens. He brought this to the public’s attention back in 2005, but was literally ignored by everyone because he had no verification of his allegations. It was only after Snowden’s documented revelations about the NSA that Tice’s claims were substantiated.

Now one of the most interesting parts of the interview was when Tice said that the NSA had been tracking and watching Barack Obama since as far back as 2004, before he took office as a senator from Illinois. He had given a powerful speech at the Democratic National Convention, and this was apparently the incident that caught the eye of the NSA.

To me, this information is a very important piece of the puzzle that is Barack Obama. Why has so little been done to rein in the illegal and unconstitutional activities of the American Surveillance State? Why have the President and Congress failed to take any meaningful measures to assure our privacy, but have instead defended the NSA and CIA at every opportunity? Why did Obama campaign so passionately about change, but then leave in place almost every security measure Bush and Cheney created?

To me, the answer becomes more and more apparent. Our spy agencies know everything there is to know about Obama, his administration and members of Congress. You pick a fight with the spy masters at your peril, because if you do, you might find your past indiscretions suddenly becoming media headlines if you’re lucky, and if you’re not, you may end up having an unfortunate car or plane accident.

There is a shadow government in America, and it is run by unelected officials at the highest levels of the security, military and industrial complex. They set policies and priorities and they tell Congress and the President what to do. I have been hard on Obama over the years, but I also understand that there have probably been many things that he wanted to do, but was prevented from doing them by his secret overlords. 

The criminal Bush family and Dick Cheney helped create this nightmare scenario, and now it controls everyone who comes into contact with it. My greatest fear right now is for Bernie Sanders. He is the one candidate that is actually a threat to the shadow government, and I worry because I am certain they will never let him enter the White House. It will all go away if he loses the primary to Hillary, but should he win the Democratic nomination, the Eye of Sauron will quickly be focused on him and every effort will be made to stop him from becoming President.