Archive for November, 2015


Four For the Fourth and the Grateful Eight pt. 2

gr8ful Not long after the ‘kiddy debate’ had ended, the viewing audience was pushed onto the next venue; the big show…the Grateful Eight. The remaining candidates took the stage for this evening’s race to the White House. Those on the stage for the ‘adult debate’ were retired neurosurgeon Benjamin Solomon “Ben” Carson, real estate developer Donald John Trump, Florida Senator Marco Antonio Rubio, Texas Senator Rafael Edward “Ted” Cruz, former Florida Governor John Ellis “Jeb” Bush, former CEO and alleged demon from Hell, Carly Fiorina, Kentucky Senator Randal Howard “Rand” Paul and Ohio Governor John Richard Kasich.

I didn’t know what I had placed myself into by holing up inside the Church to watch this double header, uninterrupted. By the end of the evening I was suffering from campaign overload and needed to take pause before writing my thoughts and observations. The recap of the grateful Eight would have to wait. This period of relapse, this political overdose stretched into more time than I anticipated and just as I planned to sit and finish out my report, the world was hit with the shocking news of an attack in Paris. A handful of armed thugs pulled off an orchestrated killing spree in France and the entire world was left shocked. I went out the rest of the weekend and tried to flush that out of my head. I put myself on a whirlwind jaunt, drowning my mind with mushrooms and whiskey, pot and MDMA. I tried to focus on the Grateful Eight analysis but couldn’t. The heinous shootings in Paris wouldn’t get off my mind until late Sunday. By late Sunday I felt I could get back to finishing off a post about the debate.

The visuals started out by throwing an introduction to audience attendee and recently selected Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan. This seemed more interesting to me, personally, than what might be brought out on stage tonight. We’ve had the sad face of John Boehner pouting to us for some time so now I wanted to know about Ryan’s nefarious schemes for the future but this was not the night for it…we weren’t here for that monster tonight.

Next came the introductions and soon all eight participants on stage were off and running their strategic attack against one another. There wasn’t as much back and forth bashing of each other as had been the case in earlier (Republican and Democrat) debates. Donald Trump had the most caustic shoutdown of the evening when he yelled “I don’t have to hear from this man!”, referring to Governor John Kasich. It’s events like that which make me focus on the delivery of the message, the subtle nuances in tactics being applied between the candidates. I could see the nervous hand wringing Jeb Bush came out with, whining about not getting enough air time. A spike rose up when he uttered the name “Obama”; it brought a round of applause from the audience and Jeb was revived from this. He started spouting off about bringing back a variety of repealed policies and right in the middle of that rant, he evokes the name “Clinton”. The Clinton evocation doesn’t earn him quite as large a response as did Obama and soon, Jeb sinks back into a hole of repression. What a blood sport campaigning can be. The short quips directed from Rand Paul to Marco Rubio and Donald Trump[ were priceless. Paul has this demeanor about him that reminds me of an early English dandy, or some southern gentleman who became a talk show host. He can be poignant, but his body language reeks of sarcasm and pomp.

There were more great displays of performance by all eight but to go into all the instances would be a few pages of text and here at the Church, I’m trying to keep the sermons a reasonable length. The debates happen so quick that we hardly get an opportunity to dissect and savor one before another one pops up. All this, preceding the godless act in Paris made me wonder when the Republican voters will settle on a candidate. Anyone they rally behind will have to face the Clinton or Sanders machine once it gets down to the end wire of the twenty sixteen race. Anyone one wins from that showdown will be our next President and have to face whatever rash of terrorist attacks spring up. Even as I write this they have announced two airstrikes in Syria by France. A shitstorm might be on our horizon and we all should be hoping for a leader that can stand up to it. The averaged numbers of Republican voters hasn’t shown a big surge of favor for any of the Grateful Eight (or the other four, for that matter). Do they not seem concerned enough about winning this election? Is the taste of George Bush Jr. still too fresh in their mouth to support another letdown candidate? Has their selection left them so apathetic that they would even accept – grudgingly – a Hillary Clinton Administration? The election is less than a year away……time ticks on….


Four For the Fourth and the Grateful Eight pt. 1


Tuesday evening, November tenth in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; the town that made cheap American beer famous. This was the location for the fourth Republican Presidential debate of 2015 and the scheduled event was so massive they had to split it into two debates. Karl Rove referred to them as the ‘kiddy debate and the grownup debate’, and that may be the most humorous thing I have ever heard come out of his mouth. Rove loves being a snark but I wasn’t there for him. That lizard had his time in the White House behind a shroud of noxious mist, hidden from the general public during those years inside the G. Bush II Administration. I was tuned in for the dozen candidates who would make yet another attempt to win a right wing coup of voters. I had myself positioned here in the Church with live coverage on the computer, multiple tabs extended for online cross reference, lined notebook, pen for notes, phone for texting, high octane coffee and some chronic. Those candidates still in the running but lagging in the polls were split off for this early debate. A lot of you may view this as an embarrassing defeat in the face of the public but I see an advantage behind being split off from the same stage as the more popular candidates. The four lagging in the race were former Arkansas Governor Michael Dale “Mike” Huckabee, Louisiana Governor and former US Congressperson Piyush “Bobby” Jindal, New Jersey Governor Christopher James “Chris” Christie (donned ‘the Big Man’ here at the Church) and former Pennsylvania Senator Richard John “Rick” Santorum (diagnosed ‘insane’ here at the Church). Each man had the opportunity to get back to the grownup debate if they played good numbers here in Milwaukee. Rand Paul somehow made the cut for the later debate; the debate of the Grateful Eight. Any one of these four had the opportunity to shine and overtake Rand Paul’s position…and they knew it. They had to score good tonight.

If I can give credit to Fox News for anything it would have to be their online (streaming) coverage of the debates. This is how the public should be allowed access to seeing the debates. Free, online service without a hitch to some pay per view or cable access only system. This is for the presidency of the United fucking States and we all need to be educated-or at least informed. Thanks Fox…but I’m not here for you either.

Lou Dobbs ushered in both debates like the Ringmaster he can be, and the early debate with the Four for the Fourth began. Each man started and it wasn’t long before position was set on the evening’s race. Christie started out weak, almost timid, but shook that off and spent the majority of the evening throwing out the Hillary Clinton card. He blamed her for everything short of the Holocaust. This strategy of attacking Clinton gave him the most audible cheers from the audience so he stuck with that plan. Jindal’s plane was to engage The Big Man and hammered at Chris Christie a number of times. He got more vocal than he’d been allowed in previous debates and later managed to sneak in the ‘we’re stealing from our kids’ line to give that compassion to the crowd. I don’t know how voters will respond to this growling Louisiana Governor but he was staying with that approach. Let’s watch and see where that gets him.

I think Mike Huckabee had the best quote of the night; “crazy as the price of bread”. Thanks Mike, I enjoyed that line. You’re fucking nuts, duder. He was pretty somber and less vicious for this debate. He said he was thankful but just didn’t show much fire in his belly. He didn’t have that onstage fervor for killing the terrorists or shaming the wicked. Perhaps he sees the writing on the wall and just wants to enjoy his minute in the limelight before bowing out and re-emerging to the public on some cable yak show.

Rick Santorum has too little, too late. He came off sounding too abstract and tried to convey assertive body language to those watching, but to me he only came off as if he were jacked up on adderall and whiskey. He kept using bad metaphors and had the shaky mannerisms of someone on coke. I urge you to go back and watch clips of how frantic, how desperate he gets. They were all desperate that evening. Desperation rode the clock and soon their debate would came to a close. The theme of questions was supposed to be revolved around economic issues. The candidates danced and distracted the camera with elongated speech that led nowhere. Every one of their responses in regards to fixing the broken VA system had a side distraction to the question, and no solution. Not one of them vowed they would attempt to fix the VA. Other answers about economics spouted statistics and a few diverse ideas on solving the financial situation of America. There were a few breakoff moments from straight income chatter; Christie did a call out on China, spouting on about how he would do a flyover and taunt their ass if any technological attacks on our country took place.  I had my scorecards pretty well filled on these four men when the debate came to an end so I guess you could say they did a pretty good job on stage. A quick breather and it would be on to the main one of the evening; the Grateful Eight….


Jazz and the Continued Ailment of the GOP


Life rarely gives me what I want, but seems to provide me what I need, time and time again. Life bogged down on me like a bad relationship and I needed to get those demons out of my head one way or another. I had no idea the second twenty sixteen Republican debate was being televised that night because my brain was too far in a funk. The best way I knew to combat the frustration was with some herb; I was holding off on the scotch tonight because I knew, in this type mood, I could easily drink my way into three figures of debt….me, staggering home at three, howling at the moon and cursing god, still not drunk enough to kill me.

I headed to a downtown Sleepytown jazz bar, one of my many favorite haunts. On weekdays there is no cover and the jazz flows nice and cool. Friends were playing and these pros always soothe my psyche with their fantastic sounds. Between watching their finesse I looked around the place and scoped in on the tv-the debates just came on. This was priceless. Great music as a backdrop for the tragedy about to unfold. The Republican candidates were jacked up and ready for round two and I couldn’t wait to see someone hit the canvas. The one obstacle I had; in a bar filled with drunk people and sweaty jazz pounding the walls, you weren’t going to hear anything. The closed captioning was on so I was forced to read the crawl at the bottom of the screen. This would be different. Reading rather than hearing the candidates and I discovered about twenty minutes into the thing that I had been blessed with a serendipitous, great mind masturbation. The visual hocking of politics and auditory bliss from the jazz quartet was a perfect union to see this debate in a more clear light. The distraction of resonance and pitch was taken out of the boob tube voices and all I was left with was written transcribing on the television prompt. I had to read what the candidates were saying rather than hear what they said. The closed caption was about a five second delay to visual time so all their gestures and loud voices were cut out of my sensory, leaving me to read the action. If you merely read what Trump said, as opposed to watching him say it and hearing him talk, you understood just how daft the man actually is. The prompt typist had to have been losing their fucking mind. His broken, half sentences and trailed off thoughts; it read like some severe ADHD dialogue. Not hearing Mike Huckabee takes a lot of the sting out of his message. The one time I had to go back later and actually listen was when Carly Fiorina called out on Hillary Clinton, coaxing the audience by saying that’s a debate (eyes widening big as she peered out) you want to see.

That Fiorina moment came and went and I kept reading. All the candidates seemed more focused to take the debates into a serious discussion and didn’t repeat any more throw downs. Their people certainly warned how the public is less about mudslinging and more about content. A lot of candidates agree and want to drag the GOP out of this muck of resentment they’ve fallen into. The numbers don’t seem to tell them of landslide Republican voter turnouts and they are worried they’ll lose the fight for the Big House again. They’ve grown tired of the procrastination from Congress and (right approach or wrong approach) they want to get back to fixing things. Present problem solving content in your speeches and America just might follow you. The hosting questioners from CNBC tried taking it up and notch. They tried an Anderson Cooper-goading the candidates with their preferred string of questions. They wanted to take this thing into a pie fight because our society’s more modern day television watching, Kim Kardashian following history, showed that’s where a lot of us were headed, in regards to politics. We got so used to watching a bunch of fucking clowns in our House and Senate. They distracted us with yellow journalism and non-news shoved in our faces…we forgot what serious discussion sounds like. I’m sure the press is sorry for dumbing it down…or maybe not. Surely they can’t be as callous as the sots on stage they’re questioning?

Do a test for the next debate the Democrats televise. Listen to the thing, or at least a portion, with closed caption and start reading and stop watching/hearing. There are too many great instances of clarity I got from doing it with the Republicans not to promote this accident I bumped onto. Too many points to bring out in the debate-I’d be writing into a two parter…

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