Monday, December 3, 2018

Week of 12/03/2018

The 2018 Brutally Honest Awards
Well, boys and girls, we have survived another year.  That is important considering we have a narcissist in the White House who could still trigger the end of the world at any time if he feels he’s not being “treated fairly”.
But for now, we are simply on edge, on the brink, wondering when the next shoe will drop, when the economy comes apart, when that narcissist will be either be taken down or take us down.
As this column is being posted, it is just a few days away from the passing of former President George H. W. Bush.  The man who was in office when the Cold War ended and who led us into a new war with Iraq.  He was a different kind of leader than the person that is in charge today.  Even if there were disagreements with his policies and his decisions, it wasn’t personal with Bush Senior, and he didn’t take them personally.  And in next week or so after this column’s posting, you’ll probably hear a lot about him and the kind of person he was and the kind of leader he was simple because that is not the kind of person in the White House today, and it’s also not the kind of politics that we have right now.
Having said that, let’s go over the best of the best and the worst of the worst for the year.
The Biggest Winners of 2018: The Fascistic Sociopathic GOP and Narcissist President Donald Trump – It goes without saying that these two groups have America by the balls and they know it.  They know it and they revel in it.  Even with the results of the 2018 Midterm Fraud, they still have everything they want, including a Supreme Court justice just as petty as Narcissist Trump.
Bill Maher refers to what is happening as a “slow-moving coup”, and he is not wrong in that assessment.  It is a coup that has been slowly fermenting over the years like bad wine.  It didn’t start with Narcissist Trump.  It actually started not long after Bush Senior was in office.  Narcissist Trump is just the drunk in their winery tapping the kegs.
The Second Biggest Winner of 2018: Fail-Machine Nancy Pelosi – She will become Speaker of the House for 2019, and you will continue to see the failures of the Democrats.  Sure, the Dems won the House in the Midterm Fraud.  But Pelosi isn’t going to make waves.  We’ve seen this before when she first was Speaker.  She’ll compromise and deal.  She’s already said no to impeachments.  There might be investigations, but they probably won’t go anywhere.  Budgets will continue to reflect GOP demands and Trump’s wish list.  She could even give Trump his wall if she thinks she can get him to agree to something that she wants.
Think about the things that Pelosi and her sycophants have been touting from her previous reign as Speaker.  They were made when Barack Obama was in the White House and the Dems controlled both houses of Congress.  We won’t have that in 2019.  Get ready to be let down by her again, people.
The Biggest Losers of 2018: The United States of America – Let’s get brutally honest here… as long as the fascistic sociopathic GOP and the Narcissist President Trump are in charge, we all are losers.  All of us.  Even the Trumpets.  They just don’t know it yet.  And hopefully they will realize it at some point soon… but I won’t hold my breath on that.
The Most Disgraceful, Embarrassing Moment In America For 2018: The Rubber-Stamping of Justice Brett Kavanaugh – I won’t even dignify what happened as a “confirmation”.  It was ugly partisan theater and a naked power-grab by both Narcissist Trump and the fascistic sociopathic GOP to ram through a Supreme Court appointment simply because they could.
The Benedict Arnold Award for 2018: Retired Justice Anthony Kennedy – There was no reason in the world for Kennedy to retire at this time.  None.  He sold his soul to Narcissist Trump and the fascistic sociopathic GOP, and he betrayed every bit of moderation and reason that he represented during his time in the Supreme Court.  He knew what kind of person would follow him.  I hope he will enjoy his thirty pieces of silver for as long as he can so he can see just what kind of devastation will follow from his betrayal.
The Worst Lawyer of 2018: Michael Avenatti – Otherwise known as the attorney to Stormy Daniels, adult film star and one-time booty-call for Narcissist Trump.  Why is he the worst lawyer?  Because Avenatti basically used his client’s case against Narcissist Trump to be about himself as the attorney.  Now, it’s one thing if you’re someone like Gloria Allred, who spent years building and defending cases that caught the attention of the media.  But... and I hope you’re paying attention, Mister Avenatti... nobody knew who Michael Avenatti was before the whole mess with Stormy Daniels came to light.  And now, all of a sudden, he’s making TV appearances and he tries to find women who can say Brett Kavanaugh was a bad boy and there are rumors of him wanting to run for President in 2020! 
Hey, whatever happened to your client, sir?  You know, the adult film star whose name is being dragged through the mud by the media and is being falsely arrested by Trump supporters.  Remember why people even know who you are?
That’s the thing: people know who Gloria Allred is because she gets out there and works for her clients.  It’s really not about her, even though it’s her face in the media all the time.  It’s about her clients.  It’s about the case, not the attorney.
That’s something that Mister Avenatti needs to understand.  The case is about Stormy Daniels, not her attorney.  It is about what Trump and his people are doing to her to keep her from exposing Trump’s hypocrisy.
Speaking of Gloria Allred...
The Just Deserts Award for 2018: Bill Cosby – I have to admit I was a bit divided on this.  We’ve all known Bill Cosby as this paragon of virtue and value, someone involved with movies and TV for generations.  But what was exposed in the rape case against him was someone completely different.  And if not for the fact that one of those women that were victimized by Mr. Cosby is someone that I consider to be a friend, I’d probably still not believe it.
But it’s true.  He was convicted.  He’s guilty.  And now he is in prison.  Granted, it’s only for the one victim, not the dozens that came before her, including my friend, but at least justice is still delivered.  And it will haunt him for the rest of his life, just like what he did haunted all those women for the rest of their lives.
The “You Will Be Missed” Award for 2018: Stan Lee – Legendary comic book creator and writer and personality Stan Lee passed away on November 12th.  Stan “The Man” was one of the hardest-working creators in the business.  He helped make Marvel Comics what it is today.  But he did more than just make legendary comic book characters and groups.  He made himself into one as well.  Stan Lee’s cameo appearances are just as legendary as his characters, and he even made one appearance in a DC Animated movie.
Of all who passed away this year, Stan Lee inspired not just a generation, but whole generations, to believe in heroes and people doing the right things.  And he never stopped doing it.  Even when he was no longer in charge of Marvel Comics, he still encouraged others and still created and told stories.  He still made appearances.  His passing will truly be missed.
The Things That Have Been Missed in 2018: Suicide, California’s separation dreams, “While Black” calls, and Mass Shootings – Certain tragedies this year have cause people to look at issues such as suicide and mass shootings.  And, rather than call for real change, we play the old game of “this is horrible, something needs to be done about it...” but nothing is suggested, or whatever is suggested doesn’t work, and then we shrug it off and go watch something on Netflix or Hulu.
This is especially true with the whole “While Black” subject, which I talked about in August.  There are far too many uptight self-righteous bigots who think they are entitled to call the police on people who are not like them.  If someone speaks Spanish, the white bigot threatens to have them arrested and/or deported.  If someone is living or relaxing or enjoying whatever liberties the white bigot thinks should be exclusively theirs, they a visit from the police.  Again, we see these instances, we say they are wrong, but nothing really stops.  The white bigots keep flaunting their illegal power.  Sure, they lose their jobs sometimes, but, other than that, there’s no other kind of consequence.
And... the idea to break California up into three states?  We really didn’t hear anything more about it after the initial idea was raised.  Apparently that state’s Supreme Court nixed the idea and there wasn’t any traction on bringing it back.
The Best Superhero Movie of 2018: “The Death of Superman” – What?  Did you really think I was going to say “Avengers: Infinity War”?  Or maybe “Black Panther”?  Those were really good movies to be certain.  But when it came to “Death of Superman”, you have a story where you pretty much know the outcome.  Hell, it’s in the very title.  But unlike its previous animated attempt – “Superman: Doomsday” – we are introduced to a broader world than just Superman and Lois Lane.  You see character development that goes beyond just bringing people together.  We learn about Superman’s life more than just these people “exist”.  This is something that Zach Snyder failed to see with “Justice League”, and you really don’t have too much development with “Infinity War” because there’s trying to fit in all of the Marvel movie characters and still advance the overall story.  In “Death of Superman”, we see how the characters interact.  And not just the immediate cast, but also the Justice League members themselves.  There are discussions about relationships and whether or not they put loved ones in danger that play out later on.  That’s important because it shows these are people and not just figures in costumes.  That’s why this movie stands out over “Infinity War”.
And finally...
The Creeping Threat of 2018: The Economy – We started the year with a false promise of $1000 from Narcissist Trump.  It used to be $4000, but then it became $1000, and then we find out that it’s really not for everyone.  Most of us won’t get that.  We then get caught up with trade wars and threats of trade wars.  And what is the solution from Narcissist Trump?  Well, it’s welfare for the farmers, the ones that voted for Narcissist Trump, but then when it comes to the auto workers, the ones that probably didn’t vote for Trump, it’s threats of further penalizing sanctions on top of the tariffs Trump is giving us.
We have the stock market going haywire, with spikes and crashes faster and more frequent than before so that we can’t really trust them.  The healthcare industry is demanding more and more money and rationing promised services simply because they’re greedy bastards that have been allowed to write their own rules.  And, what is not being mentioned too much, is that real wages for most Americans have remained stagnant for decades now.
In short, what we’re seeing is the fraying of the economy, and not just like it was during the Great Recession a decade ago.  The very people that foresaw the Great Recession – and that includes yours truly – are seeing the same things happen all over again, only this time it’s not just the housing market.
Picture a platform that is rotting away.  Maybe you think you can walk around the bad parts, maybe patch them up or cover them up.  Maybe put a new coat of paint on it.  But you keep using it and using it.  Eventually it collapses because of the sheer wear you’ve been putting on it.
That’s our economy, folks.  And we’ve been lucking out this past year, but 2019?  That is our Ghost of Christmas Future looming at us.  And if you think Narcissist Trump and the fascistic sociopathic GOP and the perpetual fail that is Nancy Pelosi and her gang are going to anything to stop it, then you are delusional.
We started the year with false hope.  We end it with uncertainty.  Hopefully the new year will prove the critics like myself wrong.  That would be a welcomed treat.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Week of 11/26/2018

What America Needs To Overcome Trump In 2020
So the 2018 Midterm Fraud is over with... more or less... with a handful of recounts and runoffs to go.  And, of course, now the great eternal trauma that is politics is spinning towards the 2020 Presidential Scam.  Because, as you know and as I remind people, we are in perpetual war mode when it comes to politics.  Every election cycle is just another battle in the overall war for power and control.
Now you’re not going to hear too much about the 2019 election con-game, because that’s primarily for state and local positions of power.  But that’s not to say that people should dismiss them.  People are learning the hard way that state legislatures draw up the political maps, and with 2020 being a map-drawing year, gerrymandering is a serious issue that people need to pay attention to.  Who you send to the state legislatures next year will help decide who gets elected to Congress.  It is that simple.  So pay attention next year and vote next year, because that election is still just as important as any other.
Having said that... let’s talk about 2020 for a bit.
The only reason why I’m talking about it now rather than in 2020 is because this is when the wannabes are getting ready to make their announcements.  The early bird in this case does not necessarily get the worm, but they do get the attention and the name recognition if they’re out early.
It is a foregone conclusion that the narcissistic President Donald Trump will be running for re-election.  His narcissism will not allow him to entertain any kind of idea that he should be limited to one term, so the only reason why he would be barred from running again would be if he’s either impeached and removed from office (not likely given the current and future makeup of Congress) or if he knew in advance that the economy was on the brink of irreversible collapse and that he would be blamed for it.  Remember that this is the narcissist that has said that being a “president-for-life” would be a good thing.
So if the theory is true is that Narcissist Trump is only supported by a minority of Americans that are also fanatically active voters, then the solution is simple... find a competent challenger for the 2020 Scam.  Someone that the voters will show up at the voting booth to vote for.
It is a lot harder than it sounds.
Understand that I’ve been an active political observer and voter since the 1980’s.  I have seen all kinds of wannabe candidates come and go.  I remember H. Ross Perot.  Hell, I even voted for H. Ross Perot in 1992.  And then he gave me reason to regret it.  So I know what kind of people have a better chance of getting elected than others.
The absolute worst thing that the Democratic Party, or for that matter any political party or group, can do is to presume that anyone they put up could beat Narcissist Trump.  If you go to the November election in 2020 with that in your heads, then I guarantee you that You. Will. Lose.
Understand that you – and by extension the rest of the nation – is facing more than just a self-promoting narcissistic clown act with a fake Jersey tan.  You are also dealing with a cult following of extremists the likes of which have not been in power in over three-quarters-of-a-century, as well as an entrenched political party that is sociopathic in nature and will not give up that power without a fight.  And, as a reminder, they are active voters.  They will fight for and vote for Narcissist Trump no matter how bad he is.  Narcissist Trump could lead American into nuclear annihilation tomorrow, and it would not matter to his “core” supporters.  They will still vote for him and still sing his praises.
The rest of the great unwashed are cowards and idiots when it comes to voting.  If they don’t have a candidate that they really like, that they really want, that they feel they will win, then they will not show up to vote.  Period.  They won’t vote for Narcissist Trump, but they also will not vote for anyone else that they feel is just as bad.  They won’t “haggle” or “negotiate” or “settle”.  They just will not vote.  They will stay home.  This has been demonstrated over and over and over again.
That is the challenge when facing Narcissist Trump.  It is not just a matter of finding “someone better”, but also someone that will get people to vote for them.
So here is a short list of the potential wannabes that really need to stay home for 2020 if they want to get Narcissist Trump out of the White House.
First and foremost, the biggest group that need to stay home are...
Hillary Clinton and the other “Entitled” Wannabes – I have said this before and I will say it again: the presidency is not an entitlement program.  It is not a matter of “paying your dues and waiting your turn”.
Historical fact: only one “entitlement” candidate for the White House has ever won in the past century.  Only one.  And that was then-Vice President George H.W. Bush.  Every other candidate before and after him have lost.  Every time.
Former Vice-President Walter Mondale thought he was “entitled”.  He failed miserably.  Then-Vice-President Al Gore thought he was “entitled”.  He failed to beat Bush Junior.  Former Senator John Kerry thought he was “entitled”.  He failed miserably even worse than Mondale.  The late Senator John McCain thought he was “entitled”.  He failed.  Hillary Clinton sure as hell operates as though she is “owed” the White House, and she got primaried-out to Barack Obama in 2008 and got beat by Narcissist Trump in 2016!
And the odds of winning are even worse when you’re running against someone already in the job!  So what the hell makes Hillary think that a Clinton vs Trump rematch would change the outcome?  If anything, history has shown that she would lose even worse.  So the best thing that Mrs. Clinton can do for the nation would be to shut up, sit down, and stay home.
But, of course, she won’t do that.  Her own ego would not allow that.
She’s not the only one that needs to bench themselves, though.
The “Failing-Up” Wannabes – Picture this: you have a candidate that is dynamic, energetic, gets the voters optimistic and fired up and really, really, want to vote.  Unfortunately, that candidate loses in their race for Congress by someone who was supported by Narcissist Trump.
So... what do you do?  Why, you have that candidate challenge Narcissist Trump for 2020!
Listen, I have nothing against Congressman Beto O’Roarke of Texas.  Sounds like he’s a great guy.  But he just got his butt kicked by #Cheat2Win Ted Cruz for the Senate.  Do you really think that he’d have a chance against Narcissist Trump with that kind of mark against him?  He couldn’t beat a lying, cheating hypocrite, and #Cheat2win Ted Cruz is a lightweight compared to Narcissist Trump!  O’Roarke would have had a much better chance if either he didn’t run for the Senate or if he had won that race.  As such, his loss poisons him this time around.  He needs a few more wins under his belt before he thinks about running for the White House.
The same goes for some of the other people who sounded good but couldn’t seal the deal this past election.  The last person that “failed-up” into the White House was Richard Nixon, and it took three major assassinations before that for it to be a possibility.  Narcissist Trump may be bad, but he is not yet catastrophic enough for such a situation to happen again.
Speaking of which, can we please stop the asinine talk about how “monumental” losing in those races was?  It does not matter if your candidate lost to the GOP by a thousand votes or even one; it is still a loss.  You are dealing with simplistic people who see things as winners and losers, not “close calls” or “narrow margins”.  A loss is a loss.  Period.  And voters don’t like voting for losers.  That’s why they usually stay home when they feel they don’t have a “winner” on their side.  Again, history has proven this to be true.
Here's one more group that need to sit 2020 out...
The “Celebrity” Wannabes – This includes TV celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, but also the “political celebrities” like Senators Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren.  You know, the people that are recognized for whatever reason, but don’t really have anything to offer other than they’re not Narcissist Trump.
Listen, I have respect for Senator Warren that goes back to when she was the one “in charge” in name only of the TARP bailout ten years ago.  She stuck it to the people that just wanted her job to be quietly rubber-stamping whatever Big Banking wanted.  And I like that she’s still fighting the good fight against Big Banking and Big Corporate and Big Healthcare and the rest of the “Big” groups.  But there is a difference between doing that and being president.  She has to sell more than that to the nation.
Just being a “name” doesn’t make you a challenger to Narcissist Trump.  I know that it is easy to presume that Narcissist Trump is just a “celebrity” himself.  After all, he sold himself as a character on a “Reality TV” program that can turn everything he touches into gold.  But the truth is that he was selling himself as a “leader” long before he announced his candidacy.  His Fox News appearances criticizing President Barack Obama, bringing up the Birther issue, these all laid the groundwork to his eventual bid.  His name was being bantered about for years before he made it official, and then, when he did, he offered more than just his “brand”.  He was ready with a book and a slogan and ideas that may not have been his, but he certainly knew how to latch onto them and make them his.  Narcissist Trump is – above everything else – a salesman, and he was selling himself long before he was running for the White House.
These are all the people that should be sitting out for 2020, but let’s get brutally honest here... you know a lot of them will do it anyway.  They’re going to waste time and money to see if they can challenge Narcissist Trump, and they will fail.
The problem will come when the Democrats decide to put one of those people in as a nominee.  If they do, you can guarantee that Narcissist Trump will be re-elected.
And the GOP knows this.  They’re counting on the Democrats to put up someone like Senators Warren or Booker or even Hillary.  They want the “celebrity” challengers and the people who think that it is “their turn” to be president, as if the office of the President of the United States was just a loyalty perk for a political party.  They want the Democrats to do this, because they know that Narcissist Trump will win if they do.
The office of the President of the United States of America is not some loyalty perk or just a “gig” for celebrities to do like they’re a judge on “Dancing with the Stars”.  It is a position of leadership.  As such, it helps to actually have a leader.
The way to defeat the Narcissist Trump is to have someone that is better than him that can actually lead that the voters will want to support, not “hope” they’ll support.  2020 may still be two years away, but the time to step up and sell yourself as that person that can defeat Narcissist Trump is now. 
Hell, it may already be too late.  And that’s sad.