Category Archives: Trump 2016

Bill’s mulligans and the man who gave him a haircut

I think my Buddy and I are grimly determined to keep harassing each other through this dispiriting Presidential contest. Afterwards I suspect we pick up the pieces and continue our quibbling. If so, we may end up a little better off than the Facebook unfriends, and the marriages under threat from divided loyalties.

After my latest post carping about my Buddy he sent me the following email with the now familiar picture of the Clintons and the Trumps in more amicable times. The column by Maureen Doud begins with a spot on paragraph describing the photograph of the two power couples:

As has been said, if you want a friend, and not a shakedown, get a dog.


“The friendship, on both sides, was a transaction. Not personal, as they say in the “The Godfather” — just business. Trump’s life in New York was all about promoting the brand and making money for the family business. It was the same for the Clintons. A former Clinton White House official puts it more bluntly: ‘This was a classic Clinton go-where-the-money-is move.’”

This post, like all others in this blog about the 2016 election, has been categorized under “Trump 2016” not something more generic like 2016 election. That makes sense to me after the last year. Trump, for good or ill, will define who we have become as Americans more so than Hillary Clinton. Certainly almost half of America’s voters will cast ballots for him and do it knowing about a great many disqualifying or seemingly disqualifying character traits and past history.

I want to make this clear. I don’t particularly like Hillary Clinton. I have curbed my criticisms of her in front of Claudia because my poor wife has heard them for years and they all remind her of the crap she has had to put up with for a lifetime. If you are a woman you can’t be assertive for fear of becoming a bitch.

Forty years ago Claudia went to one of the last gasp gatherings of women who were pushing for passage of the Equal Right’s Amendment (ERA) and was appalled at the fundamentalist ministers who crashed the party and who were directing their women congregants to challenge the women’s libbers.

Like the wizened and once randy PTL shill, Pat Robertson lots of these evangelical types have returned this time to defend the grinning, pussy grabber.

As long as the pussy grabber stuck to his glitter and glamour routine I had no problem with him. As the photo above makes clear neither did Hillary Clinton. Maureen Dowd rightly describes the Clinton/Trump “friendship” as being “transactional.” Trump could bask in the glow of having an ex-president at his third nuptials. Clinton could count on getting some campaign funds from the bumptious billionaire.

I didn’t have a problem with Trump until he decided to be a Demagogue. I place most of the blame for the public’s current receptiveness to Trump on the GOP whose Pat Robertson types did their best to shrink Reagan’s big tent down a pup tent.

As for Hillary, while I have no fondness for her I see in her my wife, my daughter and countless other women. “Nasty Woman!” How the hell can the voting public let a US Presidential candidate get away with that? or get away with calling his opponent “crooked?” or saying he’ll put her in jail when her worst crime was trying to hide her vulnerabilities from the Republicans who have spent thirty years investigating the hell out of her? or hinting to gun fanatics that they might consider assassinating her? Hillary Clinton may not be soft and cuddly but the Donald Trump of this campaign has been loathsome.

Yeah Buddy. I take little comfort in the polls. Trump may beat Hillary. He’s got some Big Mo now and, no, I don’t think he’s Adolph Hitler. He’ll just be America’s first presidential demagogue. He’ll make sure the trains run on time after he kicks 20 million Americans off of their Obamacare insurance.

And about that Maureen Dowd piece. It’s a wonder of insider Intel. The last paragraph even gave me a glimpse of Donald Trump that was both sympathetic and revealing. That was a first after a forty year stretch. Even so, I still think he’s loathsome. I guess that makes me an elitist.

Manchurian Candidate

My daughter Facebooked me to tell me that she (young as she is) knows what the Manchurian Candidate is. For those who haven’t heard of it it was a movie based on a book. The plot was about how communists North Koreans had brainwashed an American POW to assasinate an American politician. Its appearance in theaters ironically and infamously coincided with the assassination of JFK.

I haven’t seen the recent remake. Sinatra’s version was good enough for me.

Coincidentally, PBS aired a two-hour American Experience tonight on the fighting at Korea’s Chosin Reservoir and the perilous, frozen escape of American soldiers surrounded by tens of thousands of Chinese troops. Some of the first American POWs came from that fighting.

My Uncle, Frank, was in a MASH unit during the war. I know virtually nothing about his actions but I know he helped a Korean from his camp immigrate to the US after the war. I wrote about Frank once for the Reader in an anecdote about Grandfather. Its one of my favorite family stories.

Frank must be about 88 now. I had originally intended to travel on to Colorado after visiting Topeka, Kansas, next week and ask him about my Dad’s side of the family in much the same way that I’m researching my Mother’s side now. I decided against it because he lives at 8,000 feet and winter is coming. I’ll come back for the next school board meeting instead. Maybe I’ll try Colorado next spring.

After watching the program I ordered the third book in a trilogy. I collected the first two of the books better than a decade ago but never read them. Maybe its about time I do. Its about the “Forgotten War.”

After my post on the Manchurian Candidate I got an email from my Buddy and we proceeded to have a testy exchange. My characterization of FBI Director James Comey as worse than a “communist dupe” struck my Buddy as “unhinged.” Nevermind that Presidential candidate Trump – the butt of my exageration, has said far worse about a great many other people on television over and over for the last year. Nevermind that he leads his audiences in inflamatory chants of “lock her up. lock her up.” No, its me that’s unhinged.

I could have confessed to being a tad excessive to my Buddy but I didn’t feel like it. He had just sent me a story about how the lastest polls show Trump up over Clinton by a point and I’d just been stewing about Comey and the part he may have played in this last rough week for my preferred candidate Clinton. I thought he was trying to goad me so I let myself be goaded. It never pays off.

As a bit of a concession I sent him a commentary that was anything but unhinged in finding fault with Comey. My Buddy made no reference to it when he sent me another snappish email.

What is indisputable is that Vladimir Putin would love to see American politics lose its lustre for the rest of the world even if it means that an unpredictable narcisist takes the reigns of power perhaps as disasterously as when Trump plunged his Atlantic City Casinos into bankruptcy. Putin would have the office once presided over by Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Lincoln, the Roosevelts and Ronald Reagan handed to a man who flushed Reagan’s “eleventh commandment” down the commode. In other words, Putin wants a lying, uninformed, lucky, idiot billionaire to be America’s next president. My Buddy reminds me incessantly that standard issue Presidents, like he’s sure Hillary will be, got us into the Vietnam War. How could Trump be any worse? he asks. I only write back to him out of sheer cussedness.

Hemingway said that courage is “grace under pressure.” Perhaps mine failed me. Ironically, Comey’s dubious last-minute, non revelation has been defended by none other than President Obama. I doubt that my Buddy will give him credit for being more rational than me even though Obama is busting a gut to get Hillary Clinton elected. My Buddy twitted me a few years back about how Obama was treated as the “Messiah” by his early adoring fans and how he let them down by not providing them utopia. I keep reminding by Buddy that from a minute Obama was elected Republicans made it clear their only real priority was to make sure he was a one-term president. They didn’t dare let America be run well for the next four years if they hoped to depose him. The result eight years later a is Donald Trump now the titular head of the Party of Lincoln. And who can forget his constant threats and taunts to his fellow Republicans. That’s what six years of Republican gridlock got America. If Trump is not a Manchurian candidate I don’t know what the hell he is.

By the way, an hour ago I had to run to Wallgreens and get a fresh 9 cell to stop a fire alarm from shreeking at me every twenty seconds. My Manchurian Candidate sign was still standing. I give it fifty/fifty odds of making it through the night.

My wife says only old people will understand this sign.

But they are the people who are about to hand the oval office over to the ex head of the KGB.

Just put in my front yard. I hope it lasts longer than my last sign.

Here’s a visual for the young folks who may not know to whom this sign refers.

From Mother Jones:

…… “It started off as a fairly general inquiry,” says the former spook, who asks not to be identified. But when he dug into Trump, he notes, he came across troubling information indicating connections between Trump and the Russian government. According to his sources, he says, “there was an established exchange of information between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin of mutual benefit.”

This was, the former spy remarks, “an extraordinary situation.” He regularly consults with US government agencies on Russian matters, and near the start of July on his own initiative—without the permission of the US company that hired him—he sent a report he had written for that firm to a contact at the FBI, according to the former intelligence officer and his American associates, who asked not to be identified. (He declines to identify the FBI contact.) The former spy says he concluded that the information he had collected on Trump was “sufficiently serious” to share with the FBI.

With the help of FBI Director, James Comey, Donald Trump has just taken a lead in the polls. Who needs a communist dupe when you can get the head of the FBI to do your dirty work for you?

Why Trump stay’s afloat and Early voting

From my buddy to me – An anaylsis of the voters by Sam Wang of the New York Times:

For now, we are stuck with an intensely emotional campaign that has been a significant source of stress for more than half of adults. The American Psychological Association has, for the first time, issued tips on dealing with election-related stress. Strong emotional experience reduces mental flexibility, suggesting that when tempers run high, as they have for many voters this season, entrenched support for a party or candidate is more likely. So if you wonder whether there is anyone left to persuade, the answer is probably no. We’re too freaked out.

And from another friend there is this story about early voting in Minnesota. I’m one of them. I’ll be in Kansas on election day.

More than a quarter of a million people have already voted in Minnesota and the record-breaking numbers are expected to surge as Election Day approaches.

I didn’t vote to be done with the election. I figure there is no escape from it although my sister in Equador doesn’t have to listen to television commercials. That doesn’t stop her from sending videos about the outrages of Donald Trump to Facebook so even south of the equator there’s no escape from our election.

Bullying – a two way street?

In response to my post about Mr. French who has received hostile (to put it mildly) messages from what he characterizes as “Alt Right” Trump supporters my Buddy sent me this blog post from Dilbert creater Scott Adams to demonstrate that malevelance doesn’t just come from one direction.

Whether they are equivelent in their malevelance or not all such harassment is a sign, at the very least, of self righteousness. No one has a monopoly on that human vice.

I’m not sure what Adams said or did to deserve abuse. I heard him on the BBC being interviewed recently and as I recall he said something to the effect that he was indifferent about who should become the next US President. I sort of remember him saying he didn’t plan to vote but at the very least he seemed to think the big issues were so complicated that neither candidate had anything like a firm grasp on solutions. That’s hardly worthy of harassment so Adams must have angered Hillary’s supporters in some other way if he’s now planning on endorsing Trump.

Will he do it in a Dilbert cartoon? I will keep my eye out for that. I haven’t decided whether Dilbert is an exercise in cynicism or skepticism. I guess I’d take his endorsement of a presidential candidate in much the same way as I take his pointed cartoons.

Thieves in the night

So, funny story. My last post from Friday night about that sign I painted and how I had a good night’s sleep after sticking it up in my front yard late at night……today its in someone else’s front yard or dorm room or down a ravine. It did occur to me that it being a relatively mild Friday night with lots of young folks zipping around on the streets it might get nicked.

I woke up at 4AM and peeked out a window and saw that it was gone. I didn’t mind that much. I thought about making a replacement but decided going back to sleep would be better for me. I did and it was better.

The making of the sign had served a useful purpose Friday night. It kept me awake so I could see a PBS program about the making of the hot new musical “Hamilton.”

I already knew a couple things about it. It was based on the Pulitzer Prize winning bio written by Ron Cherno. Its one of the books I’ve bought in past years circling the airport waiting for me to read it. It also has a heavily minority cast including the figure of Hamilton and his killer Vice President Aaron Burr.

If I hadn’t gotten engaged in laying out the sign and painting it I would have gone to bed. I was dog tired. I have a couple observations from watching the special on Hamilton. The heavy influence of minority actors gives me great hope. That black Americans could take the story of a white founding father and press it to their breast and make it their own tells me that we will survive this crappy election. In doing so we will defy Donald Trump and continue making America the great nation our white founding fathers hoped it would be with their soaring rhetoric that paved a way to a more humane future. We still have work to do.

I shared this personal commentary from a conservative blogger about the abuse being heaped on him by Donald Trump’s fans to a friend. Limbaugh treated Obama as a joke early on. He called him a “halfrican american” back in 2007. Limbaugh keeps pouring it on and now his fans are tweeting venom anonymously with pictures of the children of Trump’s critics photoshopped into Auschwitz ovens. Tonight I watched another superlative PBS offering about Norman Lear the showman who brought us All in the Family. Lear told of being nine and listening to his crystal radio set broadcasting a speech by Father Coughlin explaining how Jews threatened America. Lear was a Jew.

After quitting TV Lear formed People for the American Way to challenge the new New Father Coughlin’s of the Moral Majority. Jerry Falwell’s response was to write to his supporters that Lear was bringing “filth and sexual perversion” into American homes. Good Christians saw to it that Lear got the same treatment that is now being heaped on Mr.French.

Claudia, who’s sign was stolen, and I talked about the Trump army. Her take is a lot like mine. These are people who are hurting. They deserve more sympathy than antipathy. I’ll confess that I can’t muster any for the trolls who photoshop children’s faces into images of the holocaust but I understand that every cause has its fringe – mine included whatever it may be.

1860 redux?

I just watched the final 2016 presidential debate. It’s worth noting that the last time a nation didn’t except the results of a presidential election we had a civil war.

That was because of the threat of ending slavery vs. disavowing the preamble to the Declaration of lndependence.

In 2016 not accepting the results of the election would be the result of a narcisist being unhappy about admitting that he was a loser.

Vote Trump and save us from the liberal apocalypse

My Buddy prefers to send me Op Ed pieces that challenge my point of view rather than make his own arguments. That leaves me to argue with his Op Ed experts. Here’s a computer prof begging voters in the Wall Street Journal to vote for Trump with their noses pinched shut. I’m having none of it:

From: [Your Buddy]
Sent: 16-Oct-2016 03:43:39 +0000
Subject: Trump and the Emasculated Voter

Again, I am only the messenger; and what does a professor of computer science at Yale, know?


“Trump voters have noticed that, not just over Mr. Obama’s term but in recent decades, their own opinions have grown increasingly irrelevant. It’s something you feel, like encroaching numbness. Since when has the American public endorsed affirmative action? Yet it’s a major factor in the lives of every student and many workers. Since when did we decide that men and women are interchangeable in hand-to-hand combat on the front lines? Why do we insist on women in combat but not in the NFL? Because we take football seriously. That’s no joke; it’s the sad truth”.


“Enter Mr. Trump. People say he became a star because he just happened to mention an issue that just happened to catch on. But immigration is the central issue of our time. Trump voters zeroed in because they saw what most intellectuals didn’t. What is our nation and what will it be? Will America go on being America or turn into something else? That depends on who lives here—especially given our schools, which no longer condescend to teach Americanism.

The liberal theory is that, other things being equal, all human beings have an equal right to settle in America. For liberals this is too obvious to spell out. But it is also too ludicrous to defend. Does all mankind have a right to camp in your backyard, eat in your kitchen, work at your office and borrow your best jogging outfit? We fail in our duty if we don’t think carefully whom we want in this country, who would be best for America.”

My Reply:


Yale? Big deal. W went to Yale and that left us with the War on Terror, Dick Cheney and No Child Left Behind.

Yeah, I’m just saying that as a smart ass but its your question that prompts it and your disclaimer that you are only the messenger. No, the WSJ is the messenger. Frankly tons of profs are full of themselves, liberals and conservatives alike. This guy is no different.

He makes a cunning argument for voters who don’t want to vote for Hillary to move them to the Trump column even if doing so makes their skins crawl. Trump, for all his drawbacks will bring common sense back or risk impeachment and a sane Pence replacement presidency. Is it just me or is this Computer Science expert awfully glib wading into political prognostication?

Obama worthy of impeachment? Shades of Rush Limbaugh.

Clinton a sociopathic liar? Simple minded tosh.

Trump risk of impeachment? Grossly overestimated with Pence as our savior…….the guv who is shutting down voting registration efforts in Indiana…….I know. Its too early to get the big picture on that story but it fits right in with 30 GOP states efforts to suppress minority voters.

I do think the prof has a point about large swaths of the American blue collar public feeling trampled upon and blithely ignored by the elites. I don’t particularly blame them. Republicans, for their part, have been happy to title loan them to financial ruin and dilute measures to mitigate job losses when factories move overseas. Perhaps being from Yale your professor doesn’t notice that kind of minutia

On the other hand, so called “conservative” voices like Rush Limbaugh have been part of the problem. Rush and his ilk have done their best to turn the Republican party into a cartoon by primarying any moderate or “liberal” Republican out of the Party. One of the hallmarks of democracy, compromise, has been made to seem like prostitution. Where was this guy when all this was happening? Fussing with algorithms I guess. Maybe he is my “conservative” alter ego with his penchant for the apocalyptic. We are on the eve of destruction……..Trump’s that is. Not America’s.


Fascism lite?

Donald Trump is not a Jew hating Adolph Hitler and the United states in 2016 is not the desperate post-war Weimar Republic still reeling from the devastation of World War I. That said, I’ll mention the similarities I see with Hitler’s rise to power and the Trump Campaign which has led many Republican Newspapers to endorse Hillary Clinton:

Hitler once wrote a book, Mein Kampf, extolling his struggles. Trump once had an “autobiography” ghost written, The Art of the Deal, extolling his genius.

Mr. Hitler outlasted half a dozen brutal villains to become the top leader of the Nazi Party proving himself to be the most cunning of the lot. Mr. Trump managed to be the last man standing in a crowded field of wannabe Presidents by perfecting the put down and public humiliation.

Hitler was a theatrical master at spewing bombastic and simple-minded messages. Ditto Trump

Hitler lied and lied and lied. The fact checkers have run out of ink correcting Trump.

When Hitler finally “won” an election, later to be appointed Chancellor, it was with a plurality of only about 33% of the vote. As of this moment Donald Trump seems to have a support base of about 35% of likely voters depending on who decides to vote.

Hitler, was a master of pushing when he could and pulling back so as not to overstep himself in his rise to the top of the Nazi Party and Germany. After he became the Furher he exercised the same talent internationally by, for example, promising not to invade Czechoslovakia if England and France permitted Germany to swallow Slovakia. Later he invaded the rest of Czechoslovakia. All through the process of winning the nomination Trump alternately promised to be a loyal Republican then threatened to challenge it as a third party candidate. The Republicans, like the German authorities in Hitler’s time, succumbed to his duplicity. The misloyalty that won Trump the Republican nomination is being repaid with threats to undermine Republican candidates who do not show him the loyalty he feels he deserves -This despite having shown no loyalty to the Party of Lincoln.

Hitler avoided alcoholic beverages preferring to imbibe swooning audiences mesmerized with his theatrics and stage presence. Ditto Trump.

Hitler had some of his rivals killed. Trump hinted to gun right’s extremists that one of them might take out his opponent, Hillary Clinton.

Once Chancellor, Hitler was able to censor all critics. Trump wants to change the libel laws as President so that he can more easily win defamation suits against his critics.

Hitler made much of his enthusiasm for Dictator, Benito Mussolini. Trump makes much of his enthusiasm for Vladimir Putin.

Adolph Hitler used apocalyptic language to blame all of Germany’s ills on Jews suggesting that their removal was the only solution to Germany’s problems. Trump has done the same pointing to illegal aliens and refugees from war. But apparently there is an even more dangerous threat. Faced with allegations of sexual misdeeds Trump is now blaming the establishment and the media in the most apocalyptic terms accusing them of rigging the system and conspiring against him and the United States.

In Germany, the large sensible middle class and intelligentsia consoled themselves that such a refined nation as Germany might have to endure Adolph Hitler for a spell but that everything would sort itself out eventually. In America………………………..

Just because some Trump critics may be hypocrites…

… isn’t a good reason to deny Hillary Clinton my vote.

Lest anyone think I live by a double standard my Buddy sent me this curt dismissal of the outrage over Trump’s randy sex talk expressed by Hillary Clinton’s supporters.

If you don’t read it suffice it to say that the author points out a lot of crude rap lyrics by musicians who are clearly on the Clinton bandwagon. She asks why does the left lionize the rap artists rather than condemn them? That’s a fair question.

But as I wrote back to my Buddy the piece does not defend Trump. Rather it lumps him in with some of Hillary Clinton’s supporters who, thankfully, are not running for President. Then it lashes society in general for hiding behind Victorian values while living hypocritically by the same kind of values found oozing out of the Trump tapes.

Trump’s self defense reminds me of children who whine to their parents that other kids get away with stuff and aren’t punished. It fits in with his 4th grade word usage.

So we are left to ponder if Trump’s real complaint is that Hillary was a lax parent or, worse yet, someone who took vengeance on her husband’s targets. My recollection going back thirty years is that her role has been greatly overblown by Trump. This short CNN piece seems to confirm my recollection: Reality Check: Did Hillary Clinton attack her husband’s accusers?

And by the way. I personally have nothing but contempt for Donald Trump. His recordings with Billy Bush merely confirmed what I suspected. I had a lot of contempt for the actions of friends of mine toward women when I was in college 50 years ago. If they were running for President now and I thought they hadn’t changed I’d likely be outing them.

There are plenty of other reasons not to vote for Trump besides his misogny. Perhaps the biggest is what Donald Trump probably thinks about the poor schmoes who lost their jobs when he and his ilk moved factories out of the United States – that they are “losers.”

There are plenty of reasons to vote for Hillary Clinton that vastly outweigh her crime of sticking by her husband despite his dalliances. One of them is this: That she represents a political party that attempted compromise to manage the nation while the other Party did its best to prevent President Obama from having any successes.

I think it is possible that if the Republican party reaps what it has sown and loses both houses of Congress as well as the Presidency in 2016 the American public will fall in love for a generation with a functioning government and the party that runs it.


I’ve got half a dozen emails regarding the School Board and from my Buddy. Having just watched the second Presidential debate of 2016 I’m too tired to look at them. I did want to comment on the debate, however.

Donald Trump having thrown a bomb into the Republican Party probably stopped the damage to his campaign tonight. He said nothing to win new voters tonight but said enough of the same old, same old, to reassure his true believers. He’ll get at least 45 percent of the vote and maybe more but he’ll get very few of the 2 to 4 percent of the vote that has been truly undecided. He has thirty days to hope more open mike moments don’t bubble up. Meanwhile this episode has unleashed a torrent of Facebook accounts by women who have suffered from their own insufferable Donald Trump types. I expect that will have lasting positive results.

Otherwise my thoughts about Donald Trump haven’t changed much. I still hold by this impression from the first debate.

The other hurricane in the news

Unless some unhinged NRA fanatic takes up Donald Trump’s hint that Hillary could be taken out before she’s sworn into office I’d say that the first “black” president will be succeeded by the first female president. That’s not how this post began 24 hours ago before the “live mike” recording of Donald Trump was released hurling ever more rats off a burning Republican ship.

Last night on PBS’s Washington Week I heard a reporter explain that Trump had just talked about a “kitty cat.” I momentarily puzzled over that unusual political terminology until she explained that Trump had used the “P” word. Ohhhhhh!

So, who is still left on Trump’s ship of state? For one Ralph Reed. This morning on NRP I heard Ralph stand by Trump explaining that he would still take his teenaged daughters to Trump rallies. After all, Trump is the only candidate that Christians can depend on to give America the Supreme Court we deserve.

A great many Trump voters feel the same way about Hillary Clinton as I feel about Donald Trump. Trumpians and Clintonians, are both aghast at the possibility that the other candidate could become the new President of the United States.

Establishment Republicans never regarded Donald Trump as a real threat. Unlike younger less political voters whose image of Trump was the glossy one he presented on his TV shows, old timers knew Trump for the braggadocious fool who was nearly brought to ruin until his fortunes were bailed out by banks and federal taxpayers to the tune of nearly a billion dollars in the mid nineties.

But Republican shills and pols were so intent on bolstering the wealth of the top 1 percent that they took for granted the blue collar voters who were losing their jobs in international trade pacts; going bankrupt when medical emergencies ruined them and being nickel and dimed by Republican championed title loans. What the GOP offered these voters instead was an end to abortion; unrestricted access to guns of mass destruction; a wall along the Mexican border; a multi-trillion dollar, never-ending war on terror and a no compromise Republican Congress with its nationally destructive political gridlock. Finaly this year it caught up with them and the “you’re fired” Donald Trump seemed to be a breath of fresh air. He also looked better than the Democratic alternative Hillary Clinton.

Trump supporters who followed Fox News and Rush Limbaugh have had thirty years to hear how awful Hillary is. Why she had her husband’s good friend ,Vince Foster, murdered. When Bill cheated on her it was as much Hillary’s fault for turning a blind eye because of her ambition. Of course, if Bill had been a republican politician who, had cheated on his wife he probably would have been given a pass just like the one so many Republican voter’s have been prepared to give Trump. The more The Bill Clinton borrowed conservative ideas like welfare reform the greater the threat he became to the GOP. Hillary has been a casualty of their war against Bill.

I find much to admire in Hillary’s thick skin, competence and doggedness. In a man those would be solid attributes. In a woman, not so much. Even before the latest Trump outrage Clinton garnered some suprising endorsements. One of the most noteworthy just emerged from the “vast right wing Conspiracy.” Michael Chertoff endorsed her for President. He was the Republican counsel who investigated the living daylights out of Whitewater. Chertoff told NPR how, after making her life hell, she worked with him amicably and ably as a US Senator. That’s a skill the thin skinned Trump will never master because he’s so busy hurling insults on his Twitter account.

Ralph Reed’s prodigious obsequiousness to a top dog has been echoed by other Republicans like Ted Cruz, who just endorsed Trump despite Trump’s ridiculing his wife and accusing his father of helping to assassinate John Kennedy. Rush Limbaugh trained a generation of Republicans to be toadies lest they face the accusation of being RINOs. Is my contempt showing yet?

Trump clone Roger Ailes’s and his spawn have been teaching their loyal followers to see the splinters in Liberal eyes since Rupert Murdoch created the “fair and balanced” Fox news channel with its eye candy, news girls. I wonder how many of their loyal viewers will be able to see past the logs in their eyes to the man who would be happy to **** their wives and daughters.

We are all doomed so excuse me while I tidy my office

I used my election to the School Board in 2013 as a mental rationalization/justification to fix up my attic. A year after being seated renovation began in earnest. When it was complete I moved massive quantities of paper that had squirrled away all over my house to my new “study.” What I did not count on was being so busy over the last three years that I would drastically add to the fire hazzard with new paper work. Everything is in the Attic now except for photographs which take up a closet on the second floor.

I’ve been busy for most of the summer trying to corral living, breathing, migrating piles of clutter. If I stick to it today I might actually have my floor free of debris for the first time since carpet was laid. Strangely having some control of all this dusty data keeps me from being too paranoid which I’ve long associated with the Duluth School Board in particular and politics in general.

My Buddy has sent me three emails about the as yet unedited “Crap Sandwich” post none of which I’ve allowed myself time to read – yet. I’m afraid they will distract me from my slow progress. Besides, if I start responding to every slight I’ll end up like like Donald Trump sitting in his Manahattan Apartment at all hours of the night tweeting about disagreeable former Miss Universes. I must stay focused. I must stay focused.

That said, I listened to an interesting MPR broadcast this morning with some academics who studied Conspiracy theories from the Illuminati to the theory that the CIA blew up the World Trade Towers. Paranoia has a long illustrious history in America.

My Buddy is far more sanguine about America’s surviving a President Donald Trump than I am. I have mentioned before that I told him that half of America will want to move north if our candidate loses.

But it may not be the Canadians building a wall. In the cleaning out process I discovered a couple old news clippings that bear on this topic. Apparently 41 percent of Americans want the US to build a wall along the Canadian border once the Mexican wall is complete.

My fear of Trump is the mirror image of how Republicans view Obama and no doubt Hillary Clinton which I found in this clipping which says one third of Republicans regard President Obama “as an imminent threat to the US.” I’ll have plenty of company no matter who wins this November but it might take me a couple of days to crawl out from under my covers. Until then I’ll cheer myself up with the Simpson’s take on the secret societies who call the shots:

One crap sandwich and one decent candidate

I’ll proof read this later. I’ve got grandsons to play with.

True to form my Buddy sent me an email making sure to dis Hillary Clinton from conservative blogger Jonah Goldberg:

When given a choice between two crap sandwiches on different kinds of bread, my response is “I’ll skip lunch”—and then I’ll tell you why.

I will read it when I get a minute but I’ve been meaning to write a post on why I look forward to voting for the much maligned Hillary Clinton and not simply cast a vote against the puerile phenomenon Donald Trump. Sorry about using such a big word.

BTW. My Buddy has said of my dissing Trump that I am simply “barking at the moon.” I gather that this means my blog will have no affect on the outcome of the election. I never imagined that it would. There will be 100 million voters this year. My blog has perhaps 10,000 visitors over course of the year. But I’m a public official who wants my public to know what I think even beyond the ken of my school board work so, yeak. I’ll bark at the moon because it beats stewing privately about issues I have little or no control over.

The new conventional wisdom seems to be that we have two crumby candidates. One is awful the other unhinged, and dangerous. To me Hillary isn’t awful. In many ways she is unappealing but in many more she is, unlike Trump, admirable.

For a wonderful side by side video comparison I would highly recommend the always stellar PBS Frontline program that aired last week……

I’ll link to that program later on when I finish this. My cat just barfed and I have to hurry off to church in a couple minutes to catch choir practice. Here’s the link.

I’ve been seeing a surge in analysis (that’s the plural) from rational sources that are perplexed by how unflattering she has been portrayed for the better part of a year. Its worth remembering that as recently as her stint as a Secretary of State her positives were above 50% and that before that when she served in the Senate she was regarded as a work horse. This is particularly noteworthy because that body had recently tried her husband for obstruction of justice and fell 16 votes short of the necessary two-thirds majority to remove him.

I too am resistant to family succession and had little but contempt for the Democratic Party’s longing for a Teddy Kennedy Presidency especially after Chappaquiddick. Like Clinton, I’ll give Teddy credit for becoming an important Senator after his humiliation and all too light punishment for his cowardice. But HC was a victim far more than a villain. It’s true that she radiated disdain for the young intern who imagined she could replace Hillary in the marital bed…….but that’s not leaving her to drown in a submerged car and in many ways her vitriol demonstrates how seriously she was about their marriage.

I’ll never fully understand any other couple’s marriage but its clear to me that the Clinton’s are truly wedded to each other even as Bill has violated his vows like a great many before him. Certainly Hillary, despite sticking with a man like Bill vastly outshines the comic book female once proposed to be a heartbeat away from the Presidency back in 2008.

And that brings me to what finally prompted this defense of Hillary – Saturday Night Live.

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As of 4PM Sunday (when I finally got back to finished this post) this YouTube has had nearly seven million views. Claudia and I thought it was very funny. In fact, we ended up watching SNL for over an hour as a result and many of the skits were very funny. But one message ran through all of them following this intro. Both Trump and Clinton were portrayed as equally unappetizing. Sorry, there is no equity here. I’ve seen some hysteric lists on Face book by Hillary haters of long lists of her crimes. I lived through all of the headlines and to me these lists are a joke.

Hillary’s crime is ambition and to a lesser extent her dogged work to make herself worthy of being elected President.

I don’t know if Donald Trump really punched his second grade music teacher but he claimed he did in Art of the Deal. But as a young man he invested so stupidly and recklessly that the banks who lent him money faced a massive loss if they let him go under. They decided his manic self promotion of the name Trump was better than taking a complete loss and thus was born Trump’s novel use of the family name rented out to other’s for their use and his own self promotion. His success was an accident from which only he emerged unscathed. His further success in the Presidential run really is a rebuke to the Republican Party which was more intent on denying Obama a chance to improve the American Economy with some desperately needed and work generating infrastructure repair. Which tried to kill the safety of his Affordable Care Act and which gave its blue collar constituents red meat like the second amendment, abortion prohibition, black voter suppression and protection of the super aristocrats from having to pay estate taxes on their fortunes while nickel and diming the poor by promoting payday and title loansharking.

Folks, its Hillary Clinton’s Democrats who have fought, for the down and outs not today’s Republicans. The old time Republican moderates, like me, were called RINO’s and drummed out of the party in primary elections by the 800 pound demagogue, Rush Limbaugh, and his coterie of 400 pound imitators. Compromise is a dirty world. What were our founding Fathers thinking?

Perhaps the sorriest tale in the Frontline piece was Trumps complete buy in of his Father’s extreme notion of winners and losers and his own complicity in driving his less competitive older brother to drink and an early death. Even the Trump family is not immune from having losers within its rank. I can’t help but recall the German leader who felt that it was his own nation’s people who were to blame when the Allied Powers came crashing through their borders to put an end to the Second World War. You can be sure if Donald Trump is a great disaster it will be America’s fault, not his.

I have voted for Independent candidates in the past as a protest against the major parties. I voted for John Anderson over either Mondale or Reagan in 1980. Even so it never seriously occurred to me that either Mondale or Reagan was in any way a threat to the nation and I returned to the GOP fold the following year after Reagan had proved his mettle. I am not sure who I voted for in 2000’s Gore-Bush race but, although I strongly disagreed with the Supreme Court’s heavy thumb on Florida’s election results, I never thought either man was anything like the threat that Donald Trump currently strikes me as being. Hell, I didn’t vote for Jesse Ventura for Minnesota Governor but I sort of got a kick out of him and hell, it was an experiment that affected only one of 50 states. To this day I don’t find the former WWF “heel” a fraction as offensive as Trump.

Shake those shoulders, Hillary. Please don’t let America elect the crap sandwich who hasn’t paid taxes for most of his life.

3rd thought on tomorrow’s debate

This picture almost makes me forget how glad I was to have Barack Obama take George W. Bush’s place. Compared to today’s Republican nominee Bush was a saint. This remarkably able, and wholesome First Lady married another good guy who has been the subject of eight years of scurilous, vindictive, demogogic excoriation that will seem almost as incomprehensible to historians of the future as this year’s Republican nominee.

This picture is also a wonderful salve at a time of “Birther” leavened racial hurt.

2nd thought on tomorrow’s debate

For those of you who use the phrase “X may be a son-of-a-bitch but he’s our son-of-a-bitch.” Think twice before you put Donald Trump’s name in it.

If you’re a blue collar worker who lost your job to the developing world remember that before he was against trade pacts Donald Trump made use of them to set up shop everywhere else besides the United States.

If you’re a small business person remember his long record of declaring bankruptcy leaving small business on the hook for his failed investments.

If you’re ambitious and struggling remember how he made a spectator sport of mocking losers with his television mantra “you’re fired.” And don’t forget how he took his true believers who enrolled in this sham Trump University to the cleaners.

If you believe in Christian charity remember how he has used his charitable donations to pay off debts and buy political favors.

And if, like me, you value Presidential honesty remember that compared to Hillary’s failure to be candid about whether she ever failed to treat a classified email as a state secret you have in just the last week from Donald Trump a wealth of bullshit and lies that will continue for the next four years should he be elected President of the United States.

We need to think carefully about just whose son-of-a-bitch Donald Trump really is. He’s David Duke’s son-of-a-bitch. He’s Vladimir Putin’s son-of-a-bitch. Is this who American needs to be their son-of-a-bitch?

The abandonment of true journalism

Donald Trump is, among other things, a fellow who has profited mightily by the faltering of twentieth century journalism. In its place is a dizzying array of Internet data dumps available for inspection by the curious and curated by interested persons from the honest to the nefarious. Somewhere in between are all the organizations which have a special interest in winning the public to their side. For the unwary and for people without the luxury of time to deeply investigate this inexhaustible library of data its far easier to let their tribal pals spoon feed them formulas.

My buddy is always telling me I’m being tribal when I bad mouth the Republican Party. I’m not sure what tribe this makes me a part of. I did attend Democratic precinct caucuses for about eight years never really becoming part of their machinery. For ten years before that I played gadfly in an increasingly purge happy Republican Party. Prior to that I quietly voted for Democrats when unappetizing Republican candidates won the primaries or GOP nominations. If I have a tribe to a large extent it could be called the tribe of the “Man without a Country.”

Here’s Wikipedia’s summary of this famous short story’s plot:

The protagonist is a young United States Army lieutenant, Philip Nolan, who develops a friendship with the visiting Aaron Burr. When Burr is tried for treason (historically this occurred in 1807), Nolan is tried as an accomplice. During his testimony, he bitterly renounces his nation, angrily shouting, “I wish I may never hear of the United States again!” The judge is completely shocked at this announcement, and on convicting him, icily grants him his wish: he is to spend the rest of his life aboard United States Navy warships, in exile, with no right ever again to set foot on U.S. soil, and with explicit orders that no one shall ever mention his country to him again.

I was haunted by the story which I read in an English class. That was the hope of the author Edward Everett Hale. Until perusing Wikipedia just now I had no idea who the author was or the circumstances for his the writing of the book. It was composed in the middle of the Civil War, a ripe time for an American to agonize about national identity. Lincolndemocrat takes particular note of the author’s being the nephew of Edward Everett, the orator and statesman, famous for the long forgotten speech that preceded Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and being the “grand-nephew of Nathan Hale (1755-1776), the Revolutionary War hero executed by the British for espionage.”

If I have a tribe its probably confined to my office. I will admit that it is a bit more capacious than the ship’s stateroom to which the story’s protagonist is confined for the rest of his life. Like the protagonist I have bits and pieces of evidence of my nation tacked to my walls. BTW – here’s the story long out of copyright. I didn’t reread it in full but just cut to the end to compare it to my memory of it.

About that end. I was probably 15 when I read the book and far less knowledgeable about the American history that had taken place prior to the story’s conclusion. That it was written during the Civil War and contemplation about what the union meant may not have registered with me quite as it does now.

My Buddy is no doubt right when he tells me the US will soldier on if Donald Trump is elected President. I suppose we would have survived if Huey Long had been elected or Joseph McCarthy but what a shame it would have been. The Presidents they would have supplanted were superior individuals. Its true that neither of these men were Adolph Hitlers but neither was Hitler early in his career. The great irony of Germany and the Reich was that a nation of such cultivated and sophisticated people could descend to the gas chamber, the charnel house and ruin. We seem to have past the time for a nuclear holocaust but our technology certainly leaves room for an even worse case scenario than that which transpired at the end of World War II. I can’t help but see seeds of destruction in today’s political tribal culture and campaign rhetoric and, frankly, its probably too late to stop Greenland’s icecap from melting.

I am troubled that the notion of American exceptionalism is often waved about by folks who mistake it for America’s wealth and power and not for the intangibles locked into our Bill of Rights. One of those intangibles is the right of a free press. Donald Trump can’t wait to get elected President so that he can change the libel laws like he plans to change the Generals and sue every newspaper that looks at him cross-eyed. Then he can enjoy the sort of freedom his good buddy Vladimir Putin enjoys behind the Kremlin’s walls. Donald Trump is just an eight hundred pound Albertson.

Yeah, compared to electing Trump, elevating Hillary Clinton to the Presidency would be a disaster. Remember Benghazi – or at least what the pretend newsman Roger Ailes wanted you to think happened there. That way you will be anesthetized to the coming of a White House with five letters tackily emblazoned on it in Gold leaf.