Monday, October 31, 2016

Week of 10/31/2016

Quick Thoughts Of The 2016 Farce
With the elections fast approaching (as of this column’s posting), there doesn’t seem to be enough time for me to cover everything that needs to be said before the elections.  So rather than try to pick which one subject I should focus on, I’m just going to give you my quick thoughts on a whole bunch of things in one column.
Beyond the Locker Room – Donald Trump’s so-called “locker room talk” tape got a lot of air time, and it generated women coming out of the woodwork to show that he wasn’t just boasting.  But “he said-she said” is one thing... having it on video is another, and there is video of Trump being Trump when it came to another former Miss Universe, Jennifer Hawkins.  And this wasn’t from eleven years ago.  This was from just five years ago.  In public.
Didn’t know about that?  Yeah, well that’s because the media decided they would focus on something else in the pretense of providing “equal time”.
Oh, and you can add a former Miss Finland to the growing list of women that Trump grabbed and groped like they were grocery produce.
The FBI Zombie Investigation – Just when you thought the whole mess with Hillary’s emails and the FBI were over and done with, FBI Director James Comey decided to resurrect the monster and launch a new investigation... just days before the election, and in possible violation of the Hatch Act.  (Look it up.)
But there’s “nothing political about that”, is there?
Right.  And if you believe that, then there’s a PhD program at Trump University just for you!
Here’s the thing: the “new information” comes from their continuing investigation of former Congressman Anthony Weiner.  Yes, Weiner and his wiener yet again.  The feds are still “investigating” the claim he was sexting underage girls, when they supposedly discovered more of Hillary’s emails on a computer shared by himself and his wife, who is still one of Hillary’s top aides.  The discovery, by the way, could very easily be tossed in court under the Fourth Amendment.  Then again, if the FBI doesn’t give a care about the Hatch Act, why should they care about the Fourth Amendment?
And do you know why the original investigation didn’t get any political traction?  Because it is boring as hell!  That’s why the whole drip-drip-drip Wikileaks wasn’t really working; because it is boring!  The only people that were paying attention to it were the Fox News and Brietbart crowds, and both of those media groups now have people working for Donald Trump’s campaign. 
And it was the same with Bill and Hillary Clinton’s original investigations.  Remember, I’ve been doing this for over twenty years now.  I remember all the games with the travel office and the Rose Law Firm and Whitewater and the death of Vince Foster… and the only thing from all of those investigations that really stuck with the American people ended up being Bill Clinton all over Monica Lewinsky’s infamous blue dress.
So once again we have a Clinton investigation where sex gets involved.  What is it with these GOP manufactured snipe-hunts in that they can’t seem to get any kind of traction without dragging sex into it?
Comey Needs To Go – I really think that this latest news will be Director Comey’s swan song, because, no matter who ends up being President, he pretty much wrote out his career.
When Comey first ended the investigation of Hillary’s use of a private email server without bringing charges against the former Secretary of State, the GOP and Narcissist Trump were both wanting Comey’s head on a platter.  He did not deliver what they wanted, which was Hillary behind bars.
Well what the hell do you expect?  This is post-Watergate Washington we are talking about!  You give the illusion of accountability, but you deliver little else.  Remember when the White House outed a CIA agent over her husband’s job questioning their justification for the Iraq War?  That blatantly violated a Reagan-era law. Only one person was held to account for that, and that was arranged to protect his higher-ups.  CIA operations were in jeopardy, but that didn’t matter.  Lives were at stake, but that didn’t matter.  The White House was to be protected, period.  No more Nixons.  Same with the Clinton Regime.  Find some underling to take the fall.  No more Nixons.  Unfortunately, Big Bubba Bill made too much of a mess to get away unscathed, which is why he took the hit and everything else just disappeared.  No more Nixons.  It’s just that Hillary was Nixon, not Bill.
This is the game in Washington.  I’ve seen it.  Hell, I even commented on it when it happened!
I can even understand why Comey felt “obligated” to disclose this information now.  It’s really a damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don’t situation.  If he stayed silent until after the election it would have unleashed a GOP hyper-tantrum.  But that doesn’t change what he did when he did.  If Hillary wins, Comey is fired.  No ifs-ands-or-buts.  He’s toast.  If Trump wins, Trump would probably fire Comey because Comey didn’t deliver the first time around, and, again, the nature of Washington is that this email thing will also blow over, so Trump would then feel obligated to fire Comey again.  Can you fire someone twice?  Trump would find a way to do that.
Speaking of WikiDrip-Drip-Drip – I seriously think that WikiLeaks should be obligated to change their name to WikiDripDripDrip if they want to continue playing this game for Trump.  In fact, that is what “WikiLeaks” is now… they are just WikiDripDripDrip. 
And, equally seriously, what the hell does Julian Assange hopes to gain from this?  Does he have some sort of backdoor deal with Trump for an automatic pardon if the Narcissist gets elected?  That’s really the only possible explanation for Assange’s actions right now and why everything is drip-drip-drip.  If this was any other situation, then WikiDripDripDrip would have just done a huge info dump and be done with it.  But, no, it’s drip-drip-drip.
And… is it now a crime to have behind-the-scenes discussions about certain issues and certain political groups?  That seems to be what the WikiDripDripDrip crowd wants us to believe.  No more playing devil’s advocate.  No more raising questions that may not follow the “party line”.   And no more speaking fees!  How dare these former politicians make money speaking at private companies and private functions!  They should be living in homeless shelters, panhandling for food, pining for those glory days when they were wined-and-dined by K-Street and C-Street lobbyists.
Unless, of course, you’re the Narcissist, Donald Trump, in which case you call those things “motivational workshops”, and then claim that you’re “motivating people to be successful.”  That’s being “smart”.
Quadruple Standard on Polls – So, Donald, how is it that you can “win every poll” in one hand, then tell people to “ignore the polls”?  Third-party candidates are intentionally shut out of the debates because of “polls”, but then Trump tells his own people to ignore what the polls say because they’re part of the “rigged system”.  And if you’re winning in those polls, should we then automatically discount them, because, after all, they are part of that “rigged system”. Which is it, Donald?
Voter Fraud for Real – So you know how the GOP continually whines and wails like the spoiled brats they are about voter fraud?  Well it turns out it does exist, because they arrested someone in Iowa for voting twice in two different polling places... for Donald Trump!
As the Narcissist would say... “Oops!”
There Are Alternatives, Stop Lying About Not Having Any! – If half the customers of a restaurant want a pulled pork sandwich instead of a chicken sandwich or cheeseburger, whose fault is it if the restaurant has it but nobody orders it?  That’s right... it’s your fault!  You wanted it, you demanded it, you got it, so stop trying to debate between a chicken sandwich and a cheeseburger and just order the goddamned pulled pork sandwich that you asked for in the first place!
Likewise, there are alternatives to Trump and Clinton!  They are there.  They are on the ballot.  So whose fault is it if you don’t vote for them?  Yours!  So every single one of you need to shut the hell up about a lack of alternatives!
I’d go on and on about this, but that’s a subject for Election Eve.
Voter ID Vs the Selfie – There are laws on the books that prohibit people from taking selfies of themselves in the polling places.  One such law got shot down in federal court, but several other states have similar laws in effect.
What annoys me is that these are the states that also push for mandatory Voter ID when it comes to voting, and their respective political parties have campaign thugs that send out messages to the voters saying “We know who you vote for, if you don’t vote our way we will let your neighbors know!”  Remember the dirty tricks #Cheat2Win Ted Cruz used in Iowa?
Now… if there is no such thing a voter privacy, then why the hell is it illegal to take selfies in the polling place?  That’s a blatant double standard!  If you’re going to demand that people bring photo ID with them to prove that they are who they say they are, and if you allow your own thugs and hoodlums to use scare tactics claiming that people have no voter privacy, then you have absolutely zero legal or moral authority to tell people that they can’t take selfies in those same polling places to prove that they are voting!  None!
Speaking of thugs and hoodlums...
Hillary’s Fictional Hit Squad – So the alt-right wacko extremist crowd, otherwise known as the GOP base, want to spread continual rumors of Hillary Clinton having a super-secret ninja team of assassins that “eliminate” anyone that crosses her or insults her.  This is something that goes back to the death of Vince Foster in the 1990’s.
Funny, though, how all of the really “harmful” people would somehow... not... die. 
If Hillary really did have her own personal ninja hit squad at her beck-and-call, then how did Gennifer Flowers, Kathleen Wiley, Paula Jones, and Monica Lewinsky somehow survive the 90’s?  How did Linda Tripp continue to give damning testimony?  How did Barack Obama mange to beat her in 2008?  Why didn’t the talk radio people questioning her on Benghazi suddenly go silent? Why was Bernie Sanders allowed to challenge her this year?  Why is Anthony Weiner still around to give people headaches?  What’s the point of having a super-secret ninja hit squad to go after anyone who challenges you if you don’t actually use it in the way that people claim?
In other words, it’s just another lie manufactured by the “duct tape and plastic sheeting” fear-mongers whose only possible benefit to the planet will come when they are no longer living on it.  And even then, I would want the EPA to do a toxic waste test on their rotting carcasses just to make sure.
And finally…
Not Voting?  You Are A Goddamned Tool! – Just as damning as the people that claim that there are no alternatives in this 2016 Farce are the ones that say they won’t vote because of Hillary and Trump.
This is what the two dominant political parties want, people!  They have wanted all this time for you to not vote!  Why the hell are you giving them precisely what they want?!?
I’ve said this twenty years ago and I’ll say it today and I’ll probably say it twenty years in the future: the two dominant political parties do not want your vote!  They do not need your vote.  They have all the votes that they will ever count on.  All they have to do is to make sure that everyone else does not vote, and… let’s get brutally honest here… Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are two of the biggest examples of this tactic that I have ever seen in my life!
We have in place two of the most volatile and despised candidates in the history of the United States.  And, yes, I am not exaggerating here.  This is worse than any of the other political races ever.  Hands-down.  And yet the two dominant political parties have knowingly, willfully, intentionally, and maliciously orchestrated it this way on the idea that we would supposedly have to choose which one was worse than the other.
Yes, it is true that Trump and Clinton are equally bad, but not in an interchangeable kind of way.  One is Machiavellian.  The other is narcissistic.  It’s like arguing over the Earth being hit with a gamma ray burst versus all-out global thermonuclear destruction and then telling us which global extinction event the Earth deserves.  There nothing equivalent about these things; they’re just plain wrong!  You know it, I know it, and they sure as hell know it because they created the goddamned situation!
This is not a challenge to vote for one or the other dominant worst option.  There are alternatives on the ballot.  You’ll see them if you vote.  And even if they don’t win this time around, if you do vote for those alternatives, then that shows that people do want those other options.  Remember the Reform Party in the early 90’s?  They didn’t win in 1992, but they scared the crap out of the two dominant parties enough to consider change.  That’s far from being a “wasted vote”.  That does a lot more to bring real change than either buying into their zero-sum “lesser than” propaganda or by not voting at all.  You want change?  You have to actually vote for that change.  Not voting means that you are in effect voting to continue the insane death-cult that we are mired in right now.
There is a running campaign slogan that was done as a joke: “Giant Meteor 2016”.  It was based on an editorial cartoon where a pollster asked someone if they would rather vote for Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, or for a giant meteor to come down and wipe us all out.  The punchline was that the respondent was standing on the roof waiting in anticipatory glee for the giant meteor.  The problem is that a lot of people, myself included, would also be hoping for that giant meteor to come down and wipe us all out, because that really seems to be the only way we can put an end to all of this.  You, the great unwashed, are too willfully stupid to actually do the right thing, so that only leaves the yearning for nihilism.
But that is actually a subject for the Election Eve column.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Week of 10/24/2016

Trump Is Both Right And Wrong About “The Fix”
I know it’s been said over and over, especially by me, but it needs to be repeated...
Donald Trump is a narcissist.
Some people might call it a character flaw; others would say that it is character itself.  I’m sure Trump and his acolytes and myrmidons and propagandists would say that it is what makes him the “success story” that claims to be.
Having a narcissistic personality is not a crime, and it sure as hell isn’t a disqualifying condition in and of itself.
But it does bear repeating because we need to remember that someone with a narcissistic personality is not like most of us when it comes to certain things.  People with narcissistic personalities will refuse to recognize their own faults or failures.
In the “Ultimate Edition” of the superhero movie “Batman v. Superman – Dawn of Justice”, the two titular heroes manage to put aside their differences and confront the villain of the movie: Lex Luthor.  When Superman says “You’ve lost”, Luthor says in response “I don’t know how to lose.”  When Superman replies with “You’ll learn”, Luthor scoffs at the idea.  “Ha!  I’ll learn.  I don’t hate the sinner; I hate the sin.  And yours, my friend, is existing.”
Narcissists cannot tolerate losers.  They don’t like being seen as a loser, and they sure as hell refuse to acknowledge any kind of loss if it makes them look bad.  They believe themselves to be perfect and always in the right, never in the wrong.
So the latest “issue” of the 2016 Farce is whether or not Donald Trump would “accept” the results of the November election should he lose.  They continually demand that Trump acknowledge – should he lose – the results of the election.
Of course, Trump says that he will acknowledge the results if he wins.  That’s really not narcissism; that’s just human ego. 
But even before this issue came up, Trump has been whining about how the whole process is “rigged”.
“It’s being rigged, I tell you.  The whole thing: the media, the pollsters, the whole election system is rigged in favor of Crooked Hillary Clinton.  The fix is in, my friends.  The fix is in.”
And this is nothing new either.  All this past year, Trump has been whining like a spoiled rotten ten-year-old that the whole thing is rigged against him; that he has never been “treated fairly”.  If he loses a primary or a caucus, it’s always because the process is “rigged”, or that the winning candidate “cheated”.  If a debate moderator asked a question he didn’t like, he’d attack that moderator mercilessly.  Just ask Megyn Kelly of the already-biased Fox News.
So why should anyone ever expect The Narcissist to suddenly change his mind just weeks before the Presidential Election and miraculously admit defeat should he lose?  That is simply not in his nature.
And I really do not expect his myrmidons and lemmings and propagandists to be any different either.  These people have been conditioned into a cult mindset to follow Trump to the literal end of the planet.  If he refuses to acknowledge the results of the election should he lose, what makes you think that his cult followers will be any different?
But hidden amidst his biases, delusions, and paranoias of a “rigged system”, there is a kernel of truth about the election system being “rigged”.  Unfortunately for him, it makes him look more like a predator than victim.
Did you know that there were even two other parties with candidates on the ballot in most-of-if-not-all fifty states?  I’m guessing some of you didn’t, except maybe as an afterthought, or as part of some attack piece done by the mainstream media at the whim of their biased “political experts”.
You sure as hell didn’t see the third-party candidates in any of the presidential debates, and that was by design.
The so-called “Commission on Presidential Debates” is comprised of former party bosses for the RNC and DNC.  They are about as “independent” as Kermit the Frog is to his puppeteer’s hand.  They get to determine who is “allowed” to take part in the televised debates, and you can guess which two candidates automatically get buys-in.  As for the others, well, they set an arbitrary standard that any other challenger needs to meet in order to be “allowed” in.  This year, the bar is rating 15% in certain specific polls during certain specific times.
Funny thing, though… before that standard was set, Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson was ranking high in several polls.  He was a strong contender in a few polls, even able to match or overcome either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.  But then, once those standards were set, his numbers miraculously dropped.
And it really doesn’t matter what number the rigged biased “Commission” gives, those select polls will not allow any candidate outside of the RNC and DNC to meet or exceed it.  It could be 10%, and all “outsider” candidates would get maybe 9%.  It could be 1%, and those “outsider” candidates will pull, at best, 0.99999999999%.
Of course if it was really fair, then all the candidates that are on the ballot in most or all of the states would be “allowed” into the debates.  But then that would allow third-party candidates, and they could run the risk of upsetting the two most despised candidates in recent history.
So you want to talk about a “rigged system”, Donald Trump?  You’re not the one having to fight to get into the debates!
Speaking of getting “in”, how would you like to be the one trying to fight just to get on the ballot in all fifty states?  That’s what Gary Johnson and Jill Stein have been doing for the Libertarian and Green Parties and they’re having to go up against the two major parties and their proclamations that only their parties would be allowed in “their” states.  How would you like to leap through their hurdles just to get on the ballot while still campaigning for votes?
By the way, this is what you would have to face if you did decide to “go third party” like you threatened to do prior to the GOP convention, back when you claimed you weren’t being “treated fairly”.  Still think the game is rigged against you?
Let’s get brutally honest here… this whole 2016 Farce is rigged, and it has been rigged by design to favor the two dominant political parties that have long lost any semblance of honor or decency in America.  Both dominant parties created the conditions where the two prevailing candidates are also two of the most despised candidates in human history, and the only way they can continue this farce on the American public is to keep any clear alternatives away.
And I haven’t even brought up the Electoral College system, which many people say should be abolished because it gives power to a few “battleground states” at the expense of all the other states.  But I’m not in that category myself, because I know why the system was set up in the first place.  It’s not perfect, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be tweaked to properly balance popular vote versus states’ rights.
Listen, in the grand scheme of things, it’s really irrelevant whether Donald Trump “decides” to accept the outcome of the election, no matter who wins.  If he is the winner, then you know he’ll accept it; and if he is the loser, it won’t matter because the country will not instantly collapse just because some stuck-up #WhinyLittleBitch decides he doesn’t “accept” it.
What we should be more concerned with are Trump’s allies, myrmidons, sycophants, and propagandists and whether or not they will accept the outcome of the election.  These are people that have shown at least in social media to have adopted a “scorched earth” cultist mindset with this current candidate.  I shudder to think what they might be willing to do should their party be denied the White House for a third straight time.  One spoiled narcissist with a tantrum is one thing... millions of followers of that same narcissist, however, is the stuff of insurrections and coups.  I can only hope they do not also reflect their leader’s handicap.