Archive for October, 2015

27
Oct
15

Campaign Semantics: And Then There Was Bernie pt. 2

bernie

…and speaking of Sanders, this was his moment to take it up a notch. The world would get to watch him on the national stage against his adversaries. I’m pretty sure the silent thought in most peoples’ minds made them aware that after this evening, Webb, O’Malley and Chafee would drop out. To date, Webb and Chafee have quit but O’Malley is still hanging around. Perhaps they want to hold onto him for the second debate to give Hillary and Bernie a breather between rounds. Certainly O’Malley can’t believe he ever had a shot at the White House; no one’s glasses are that rose colored.

Sanders approach for this debate was to address the crowd with that east coast flavor, a comparable likeness in speech quality to Mario Cuomo of some years ago. His body language and demeanor remind me of some wise old Rabbi who doesn’t want to sugar-coat things, but can still feel empathy with you. I believe his humble moments are genuine (though I’ve been fooled before) and I do believe he wants to be a man of the people. Most modern day Presidents appear to pull off about thirty three percent of the campaign shit and drool they promise, so that leaves you wondering what thirty three percent would he get to pull off?

He describes himself as a democratic socialist and has led fights against income inequality, universal healthcare and campaign finance reform, among other progressive issues…but this was round one against Hillary and he had to face a campaign demon who catered to the same crowds. Bernie has great visions and Hillary has excellent campaign strategy. Neither Clinton or Sanders worked too hard at jabbing one another tonight, because that will come in later debates. They were like boxers, stretching their arms out to get a read on where the ‘safe’ zone is.

His key losing points where I could sense the crowd heaving a groan of disillusionment came hardest when he was questioned about gun control. I think the democratic audience wanted him to outright oppose guns and gun owners and anything a gun owner could want. You could see Sanders’ frustration with not having the air time to explain himself on that issue and the crowd was left with a kind of half ass answer. Clinton picked that one up and drove the crowd to a burst of hurrahs by taking a hard core stance on gun law reforms. Sanders seemed to weigh in favor of reform as well, but he seemed to have some codicils and wanted to assure voters he wasn’t all balls in against gun ownership-no time to get it out, Bernie, this is live broadcast and the attention span of the audience is waning.

His overall performance weighed in good even though various reports came in showing Hillary as the winner. Her momentum continues to grow and I fear a tough battle ahead for Mr. Sanders. She holds a relentless underground online organization working on her behalf to plague people multiple times a day for more money to drive the campaign. I personally have received emails from (associates to) Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, Nancy Pelosi and about seven other current Democrat names to pester my inbox like electronic harpies. The Sanders campaign train has sent me nil. Take from that what you will but the sense and smell of fanfare around the Clinton machine seems too hard at working for my vote. I thought the lead Sanders would have over her would gain speed after the first debate but even after the Benghazi Hearings, she manages to stay in the public eye and not be taken down or out. She must wear an old Lakota Ghost shirt……unstoppable.

So with this debate’s end we all get to take a breather until the next show on the campaign parade. Both parties have more scheduled and both should be as interesting to watch as this one; interesting, like watching a wasp and a scorpion fight. The toppling numbers Sanders or Clinton would need to overshadow the other might happen when they announce a Vice Presidential running mate. Some feel that’s too weak an issue to mark up poll numbers but those people only need remember Sarah Palin and how she crushed the life out of the McCain campaign. Sanders and Clinton have numbers too close to call so now we all wait for the next act of this play. Who will take the lead? Would they ever consider combining forces as a Pres/Vice Pres team? So many interesting possibilities still rest out there on the horizon and Twenty Sixteen is but a few months away.

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18
Oct
15

Campaign Semantics; The Democrats Hypnotic Bray pt. 1

donkey

The first televised 2016 Democrat Debate was held in Las Vegas, which I found to be appropriate; a sideshow like a campaign debate should always be presented among a town full of thieves and eye candy. So many had waited for the Republican’s opposition to start their pep rally and on October thirteenth, out marched Bernie Sanders (Senator VT), Hillary Clinton (former Secretary of State, Obama Administration), Martin O’Malley (61st Governor of Md), Jim Webb (Senator VA) and Lincoln Chafee (74th Governor RI). Many were hoping to see a car crash of emotional attacks among their ranks, like the Republican debates, but for the best part of the first debate the Democrat candidates focused on addressing the issues rather than attacking one another. This isn’t to say that there weren’t campaign strategies taking place; they were just more subtle and less frequent. Underdog candidates like O’Malley and Chafee learned to take what time they were given to present soluble policy solutions to America’s growing issues. Plus, they didn’t have a bully like Trump standing behind one of the podiums up there so they didn’t have to waste time defending themselves from negative attacks. In fact the most frequent and vicious attacks came from the debate panel team, more specific, Anderson Cooper. I feel Cooper has been spending too much time tweaking the sensationalized zeal he presents on CNN and that training has him in the habit of creating controversy when none pops up.

Hillary Clinton has spent thirty years under the public eye, from First Lady of Arkansas Governor, Bill Clinton, to First Lady of the United States, Senator and Secretary of State. Whether you feel she is good or pure evil, you have to give her credit for being a political ninja. She knows how to run a crowd. Those who oppose her burn at the mere mention of her and supporters think she is a Noble. I watch her at the podium and marvel at the way she fends off the candidates around her – she made reference a few times to her solidarity toward the Democrat Party rule, even at the expense of her losing the bid for the White House…..clever girl. It’s that kind of hypnotic strategy a true pro can put into a political speech. Rookie mistakes from Jim Webb were to be expected; the man hasn’t been washed in the blood of a true push to the White House. The White House win is like a Super Bowl win. A few teams will get close but may never know just how much Thorazine they need pumped in their knees, how much damage they must do to their bodies, to be the winner. Webb kept complaining about the amount of time he had been allotted to convey his message…sorry Jim, the more numbers you pull in ratings, the more time they give you. Look at Fiorina. Carly wasn’t even allowed on the main broadcast first Republican debate but after she pulled a landslide in the minor debate and the networks recognized a spike in her approval, they plucked up and made sure she was in for the second.

Hillary fended off questions about Benghazi and her email scandal. Up there on stage her body language and poised face when asked about the emails reminded me of Martha Stewart, right before Stewart was picked up for conspiracy to commit insider trading. She’s polished at this game and wasn’t going to fall apart like some amateur. Jim Webb only need look at Hillary to understand why he wasn’t given more air time. Sorry Jim. Some stars shine more than others.

I’m not saying that Clinton was the only success on stage for the first debate; there was another huge force up there named Bernie Sanders…but I’ll wait until my next post to dissect his brilliance in strategy.  So aside from Clinton and Sanders, the crowd of voters hoping to keep the Democratic agenda alive had three other contenders to listen to; poll numbers show none of those three candidates (Webb, O’Malley and Chafee) will survive the end run. Sanders and Clinton are clearly the choices it boils down to. Perhaps the other gentlemen have solid ideas to help the country too and may very well even make a decent President were they to be elected, but winning the Big Seat takes more than logic or sense. You need that hypnotic donkey bray that will startle people and make them keep their eyes on you. You need to be like a Siren from Ulysses; I only witnessed two on stage that night who held such power…Sanders and Clinton.

11
Oct
15

The GOP Fiascos Continue; Boehner’s Trail of Tears

boehner-2 Call it a drug induced schadenfreude, or perhaps just karma playing out before my eyes but the race for the White House and all the associated nonsense that follows has the Republican Party in a tailspin. Their desperate efforts to win the coveted Big Seat and keep control of the public who elected them is failing. There are too many holes in the dike and the perfect laid plans they had to win back the presidency keeps taking a step backwards. Donald Trump continues his surge of attacks within the GOP, trying his best to throw any and all competitors off course. Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg did a quick toss to put his hat in the ring, influenced by a nod of approval given to him from the nefarious tycoon overlord, Rupert Murdoch. Murdoch tweeted support for the billionaire ex-mayor…another distraction thrown in the race for the sake of….entertainment? It’s like throwing various animals into a lion’s cage to see how they’ll get ripped apart. Time is running out for the twenty sixteen election and Republican voters are sweating bullets. A lot of them felt by now, Donald Trump would be eliminated but he keeps hanging on-like some contestant from a reality tv show that everyone wants off, but continues to show up week after week.

Then the big event of the week; Speaker of the House, John Boehner (R – Ohio) announced he would resign as Speaker come the end of October. The pressure finally cracked his hard core defiance against the Obama Administration. Fellow members in congress have begun to lose faith in him and rumors have slipped out about a sellout John is involved in with the Democrats. Presidential hopeful Ted Cruz (R- TX) threw out allegations against Boehner, claiming the Speaker was involved in cutting a deal to fund the Obama Administration for the rest of the year, Planned Parenthood, Obamacare and a few other doomsday sounding conservative issues. Don’t take the accusations too serious though; they are coming from Ted Cruz. Cruz seems to slowly be metamorphing into a current day Pat Robertson. I’m surprised the man hasn’t led a charge for public executions of all Muslims. The man is a terrorist within his own means.

The abandonment of Boehner from the Speaker position was shocking, but quickly put back on course when House Majority Leader, Kevin McCarthy (R -CA) stepped up to the challenge to take Boehner’s place. Just as shocking was when (days later) McCarthy announced dropping out of the bid for the Speaker position. His decline to run for Speaker came on the tail end of accusations he was having an affair with Representative Renee Ellmers (R – SC). Ellmers claimed the alleged affair idea was “bat-shit crazy” but regardless, the yellow story journalism was out there and McCarthy backed out. That put the Republicans in panic mode to see who could fill in now. Murmurs around D.C. show candidate Paul Ryan (R – WI) as an acceptable choice; Boehner came back and said he would not resign but right now I think everything’s still on the table with the Speaker position. Some political theorists suggest this to be a conspiracy against the Democrats and specifically, Hillary Clinton. I can’t imagine this to be some conspiracy to thwart the Democrats…this is chaos in the GOP. They Republican party is scurrying like mad animals trying to position themselves in power but the calm from Bernie Sanders’ supporters and the lack of outrage from Democrats has them baffled. The Democrats are standing back and letting the Republicans take themselves out of the race.

Whenever a Speaker gets tossed out, that is a sign of change. The shift of strategy and the reign of power given to one individual who becomes known as Speaker of the House is key factor in recognizing the tides of change within American politics. It’s like watching a glass jar of bear fat change with the weather; when it becomes viscous and cloudy, you don’t know what the fuck will happen, but you know something is going to happen.

Will the Republicans do a total dismantle and get rid of the Good Old Boy network that had such a hold on their party? Will they work to get rid of the ‘do-nothing but accuse the opposition’ strategy? The eleventh hour will strike come January first, and that’s not so far away. If the Republican Party nominee is going to be Donald Trump, they better unite behind that guy en toto because they will never defeat the opposition if they remain divided. The Democratic voters have held onto Hillary this long, but she will soon be kicked to the side of the rails and a surge of support for Sanders will become evident to all…Sanders and Trump….now that’s enter-fucking-tainment.

02
Oct
15

Umpqua; Another Firearm Tragedy

umpqua

On Thursday morning, thirteen people were killed and more than a dozen others were wounded when a lone gunman decided to shoot up the Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. The shooter died during an exchange with police and now we all mourn and wait for the next tragedy.

Gun violence is on the rise all over the world, but nowhere so much as in the United States. The reason for the majority of fatal and near fatal shootings no longer follows the train of thought (purported) responsible gun owners swear by. Owning a firearm to protect your self, family and loved ones, is a just reason-but the majority of recent tragedies show none of that logic. Accidental discharge appears to be a leading candidate. Toddlers grabbing a handgun and blowing away a sibling, naive to what the thing is capable of. Another front runner as of recent is the insanity issue. Some person goes off the deep end and slaughters a bunch of innocent people. These scenarios show no logical pattern of thought; they just seem to ‘happen’.

President Obama was visibly upset with having to face the public once again and give his synopsis of a tragedy that faces the nation. “Somehow this has become routine,” he said from the White House. He called once again for a change in gun laws and once those words were uttered, a big chunk of Americans lost focus on the problem at hand…a great many Americans are tense whenever politicians begin mumbling hints about changing gun laws. It’s probably part of our country’s heritage, to shake your fist at Government and demand the right to have a weapon. Things happen fast out there on the mean streets and no one wants to be without some protection from a bad situation but what do we do about someone crazy enough to gun down others with no concern of their own life? Vice President, Joe Biden, gave his comment on the matter during a conference in New York.
“There’s the ability of the government to limit the type of weapon available. And although we don’t have enough information for me now to comment on the specifics, my guess is — I’m prepared to bet you — that it was a semi-automatic weapon or an automatic weapon.
Biden’s comments reek heavily of a gun law platform to pass against auto and semi-auto weapons-which is fine for him to campaign on, but I think he and the President should look to other means to work against these tragedies. Taking away semi auto weapons will not slow down the mind of someone who’s become so insane that they would shoot down innocent people. For one thing, most people that intent on destruction will find a way to convert a weapon to fit their needs. Tim McVeigh found a way to do it with a bunch of fertilizer. Changing gun laws will not be the end-all to this problem; as I stated earlier, we still have the ‘accident’ factor to deal with. There is no intent from the guy cleaning his gun and having it discharge, or what about that idiot who shot off his own dick when trying to buy a gun? Accidents will happen. At one point in history, people agreed on safety issues for cars and passed bills to have seat belts put in cars and toddler seats for infants. Vehicles are death machines but we all came together and felt if you passed tests to prove you could drive and stay within the confines of safety laws, you could legally drive a motorized vehicle. We could do a better job at coming together to define gun laws that both sides of this issue can live with. Outright abolishing weapons will never happen, but if we slow down the flow and make people accountable for actions of their firearm, that might be a way to approach it.

Another thing we need to look into; recent studies indicate a lot of shooters go to monstrous depths because of alienation and shame. Alienate someone enough and let them live inside a world of violent video games they can control from the privacy of their own home, mixed in with a bit of Rush Limbaugh and a nearby gun store…yeah, I think you will definitely cultivate some basket cases. Let’s all try a bit to work against that alienation and let people out there know that we are all struggling to get through the day. Let’s drop the habit of shaming individuals who don’t agree with you or adopt a different lifestyle than yours. Shooting someone because they don’t believe in the same Divine One you do has never been a good thing. Sexual preferences are nothing to pull out a gun over. We need to stress and show more acceptance of one another and remember that petty problems we have no control over will always be a part of life. Frustration brought about by our laws and governing representatives, the crooked nature of those left too long in positions of power; we can combat those problems via the voting booth.

Enough on this issue for now. Now is a time to grieve and pray (if you pray) for those survivors and loved ones taken from our world in Roseburg, Oregon. Another shooting will probably come along before long and we can only hope that day doesn’t come.

Welcome to the Church.




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