Friday, November 4, 2016

"...There Is No Joy In Mudville....Or At An Elementary School Near You...."

Everything that is good about America has been on display in recent days.

Cheering. Celebration. The joyful outcry of supporters and the respectful acknowledgment, even best wishes, of the opposition.

The celebrating of a battle hard fought but deservedly, and graciously, won by one side. Not to mention deservedly, and graciously, accepted, even applauded, by the other.

Two foes who showed skill and commitment and passion and enthusiasm in their quest, but, even more importantly, style and sportsmanship…and class.  Heroes one and all.

But, also on display, some of America’s unspoken heroes. The supporters of both sides who unwaveringly showed commitment and loyalty and devotion and cheered and supported their side with passion and energy but, even more importantly, with style and sportsmanship…and class.

Because in America, that’s what we do. We support and endorse with commitment and loyalty and devotion and we cheer our favorites with passion and energy but, even more importantly, with style and sportsmanship…and class.

And when our side is victorious, we celebrate passionately but respectfully, boisterously but graciously. Joyfully but compassionately.

And when our side is not victorious, we commiserate but congratulate, share disappointment but don’t denigrate. Express our pride in our side but show each other, and the world, that America is a nation of style and sportsmanship and class.

In the great American pastime, there is competition and camaraderie, there is heated interaction but there is no hatred, there is astounding power at work but no abuse of power allowed.

Americans fill seats in stadiums all over the nation eight months out of every year and inspire their team by standing by them and up for them, cheering them on and building them up.

Not by putting the other team down, slandering them, reviling them, or outwardly, outrageously, even viciously hating them.

Everything that is good about America was on display in recent days….in Chicago…. and in Cleveland….not only as the competition came to a dramatic conclusion, but all through the process of reaching that conclusion, every moment of every day that two foes battled to be named champion,

And when the outcome was determined, when the victory was a done deal, the victorious lit up the night with the light of celebration and accomplishment and pride.

And the opposition paid their respects with congratulations and courtesy and an inner determination to avoid wasting time and talent on bitterness and bile and get about the business of being just a little better next time.

There were no fistfights in the parking lot. There were no T shirts with foul, reprehensible words on them. There were no threats of lawsuits. There were no late night outbursts on social media about this player’s cheating wife or that player’s fat girlfriend with blood coming out of her ears or her…whatever. There were no threats of violence or revenge or even profanity soaked promises of retribution in the form of jail sentences for the victorious, because they most certainly had to have cheated to win. They couldn’t possibly have simply been the better team. This whole lousy, stinking, effing campaign, all 162 plus 7 games was B.S.….cause, come on, wake up, everybody knows that the whole effing system is…rigged. We need to reject this outcome. Those bastards need to pay for their sins. We need to lock them up….lock them up….

Everything that is good about America has been on display in recent days.

Four days ago, in particular.

Two days from now? Not so much.

Maybe it’s time to think about moving the polling places out of the gymnasiums and the cafeterias.

And setting them up just behind home plate.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

"...Hail To The Chief...Hey! I Said Hail To The Chief, Boy...Are You Deaf or Somethin'?..."

For a long, long (what seems like a very, very, very, very), long time, a number of us have been waiting for the rest of you to "get it".

We have been unable to understand, comprehend, let alone accept, how you could continue to support Donald Trump.

The reasons the rest of us could not, cannot and will not ever support this sad excuse of a human being could now fill an entire book.

Or more appropriately, a couple of seasons of yet another pandering to the lowest common denominator reality show.

But, for the purpose of the point about to be made in this writing, let's run a quick list of just the greatest hits:
  • publicly mocking the reporter who lives with a congenital condition that restricts the movements of his arms
  • publicly insulting John McCain and other prisoners of war for their "weakness" at being unable to avoid capture
  • publicly insulting a respected Indiana judge because of his Mexican heritage
  • publicly calling for those attending his rally to punch protestors in the face
  • symbolically slapping an entire country in the mouth by announcing that Mexico sends its criminals, drug dealers and rapists across our border....oh, and, he imagines maybe a few good people, too
  • strongly implying the father of former nominee rival Ted Cruz was involved in assassination of John F. Kennedy
  • publicly announcing that using nuclear weapons was a good idea
  • publicly announcing his belief that America's co-operation with NATO and/or other allies was possibly best eliminated
Let's throw in a couple of oldie but goodies:
  • repeatedly referring to Rosie O'Donnell as a fat pig
  • denigrating former nominee rival Carly Fiorina's face
  • and, of course, the number one classic from his snarky stack of wax, the ridiculous, pathologically moronic "birther" nonsense.
Finally, very quickly, a few of the latest and greatest:
  • praising the dictator Vladimir Putin for his fine leadership skills
  • defending his body shaming of a former beauty pageant contestant and rationalizing his having referred to her as "Miss Piggy" because of her size and "Miss Housekeeping" because of her Latina heritage
  • two words, Donald Corleone, tax returns
  • and, just this past week, the McCain principle 2.0....veterans with PTSD just don't have "the right stuff" to keep them from getting PTSD
And now, ladies and gentlemen, the most recent (at this writing) thermonuclear detonation from the arsenal of stink bombs that is the embarrassing and humiliating "Presidential" campaign of Donald John Trump:

“I moved on her, and I failed. I’ll admit it...I did try and fuck her. She was married...And I moved on her very heavily. In fact, I took her out furniture shopping. She wanted to get some furniture. I said, ‘I’ll show you where they have some nice furniture.’”
“I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn’t get there. And she was married,” 
“Then all of a sudden I see her, she’s now got the big phony tits and everything. She’s totally changed her look.”
At that point in the audio, Trump and Bush appear to notice Arianne Zucker, the actress who is waiting to escort them into the soap-opera set.
“Your girl’s hot as s---, in the purple,” says Bush, who’s now a co-host of NBC’s “Today” show.
“Whoa!” Trump says. “Whoa!”
“I’ve got to use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kissing her,” Trump says. “You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait.”
“And when you’re a star, they let you do it,“You can do anything.”
“Grab them by the pussy,” Trump says. “You can do anything.”

 Trump's pre-taped "apology" recorded and broadcast last night (Oct 7) was disingenuous, insincere and simply one more slap in the face of a nation that is already walking around with the facial expression of a woman who is somehow, inexplicably, horrifically, resigned to living with an abusive man and scrambling each day to rationalize staying with him.

And Trump's "rationale" for his behavior, comments, hell, his essential psychological construction?

"Bill Clinton did it and did it worse".

The very same rationale that the knee jerk defenders of this Neanderthal in Armani locked and loaded their pop guns with last night and fired away at those of us who are still waiting, wondering, by now, simply, admittedly, mystified as to why they are, still...still not able to get it about this guy.

This very morning, in that haze that hangs just above the eyeballs between being semi-awake and making a way to the coffee maker, I had what I can only honestly admit was an epiphany.

And, at that very moment, and right now as I write this piece, it came to me from a point of view I realized I had never ever before considered.

In essence, I get it.

Donald Trump is the excuse that the bitter, angry, nasty, uneducated, uninformed, bigoted, racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, misogynistic among now have available to justify the spewing of their own foul bile into the stream from which we all, supposedly, draw the water to wash our clothes, bathe our kids, even drink and swallow.

Champion of the underdog?

Not even close, baby.

We're talking champion of the underbelly.

Not only the endorsement and encouragement, but the "legitimization" ,of the aforementioned anger, nastiness, sexism, racism, homophobia, xenophobia, misogyny, et al, ad nauseum, E Pluribus Unum

Holy shit, where's the Tylenol?

And those who persist in celebrating this creature, hanging on to his every defaming word and profane presentation like grim death, those whose defense of, even delight at, his sociopathic slandering and slashing and burning consists solely of "well, he may be a disgusting demagogue, but he's our disgusting demagogue" (oh and let's never forget that Bill done it first and he done it worst) are exhibiting behavior that is, absolutely nothing more, or less, than, simply, primal.

Think Lord of the Flies and add yard signs and Make America Great Again caps.

When it comes to the bile stored up in the collective gall bladders of those who would have to think a little before deciding, given the choice between flying their American flag and using it to wrap up the dead body of that uppity nigger or that sumbitch spic...when it comes to having to hold all of that poison and vitriol and venom in because they have been forced to actually try and "git along" with everybody else in "their" country, Donald Trump has made them feel free at last, free at last, they thank God almighty, they are free at last.

Once released from its frustrating captivity, the snake is never, ever likely to simply slither right back into the basket because it's the "right thing to do."

For a long, long (what seems like a very, very, very, very), long time, a number of us have been waiting for the rest of you to "get it".

This morning, it was my turn.

And I get it.

The rest of you do "get it" about this guy.

You see him for exactly what he is.

You have from the get go.

And you like it.

And there's nothing he can say or do that will turn you off about him.

Because you have no interest in his "seeing the light" or "changing his ways" or "acting more Presidential".

Been a long, long, long (what must seem to you like a very, very, very) long time since your lynch mob had a real, live, in the flesh, making it possible that it might actually happen leader.

And lynch mobs never, ever let things like reason, logic, compassion, justice, fair play, kindness, forgiveness or even common human decency get in the way of a good hangin'.

So, you're sure not even gonna give a second thought to crippled reporters or careless POW's or gutless veterans or tax forms or overweight beauty pageant contestants.

Or the every now and then locker room banter about grabbing hold of that fine pussy.

I hear ya.

Cause, after all, when it means having your sad and sorry inhumanity validated, even encouraged?

You might think you have a friend in Jesus.

But you sure as hell have a fuhrer in Donald.

I get it.

Friday, June 10, 2016

"...Tweet Liberty Ain't Sweet Liberty..."

Campaign time again.

Lots of words already flown and plenty more words fixin' to fly.

Here's a word you're not going to hear much.


noun: oratory
  1. the art or practice of formal speaking in public.

    "Dr. King was noted for his oratory"

    • exaggerated or highly colored language.

      "learned discussions degenerated into pompous oratory"
"The art or practice of formal speaking in public".


You can practically smell the mold on that golden oldie, can't you?

This time out, the two that the process has boiled down to have shown very little, thus far, in the way of any intention of following in the finely articulated footsteps of such iconic orators as, say, Thomas Jefferson.

Abraham Lincoln.

Franklin Roosevelt.

Or even, more recently, Ronald Reagan.


If you're looking for spellbinding, inspirational, life changing phraseology, you're just wasting your time tuning into CNN or MSNBC or FOX News, etc, et al to hear what the presumptive, potential wanna be leaders of the free world have to offer up in the way of words of wisdom.

You'll need the History Channel to feed that need.

This time out, all signs point to the Presidential Election of 2016 being played out in what purports to be the new tech technique of moving the masses.

The tweet.

The majesty of verbalizing the hopes, dreams, goals and aspirations of an entire nation.

In 140 characters or less.

Not so much a flowing river.

More a squirt gun.

And, how, you might understandably wonder, is it possible to express the means to achieving those hopes, dreams, goals and aspirations in a mere 140 characters?

The answer, turns out, requires only 15 of those 140.

It's not possible.

Which, as it also turns out, is just as well because, judging by the opening Twitter torrent, the tone and timber of this race for the White House is going to be very short on lofty and very long on lambast.

Short burst lambast, of course.

Keep in mind...140 characters.

Donald has been a devoted tweeter for quite a while now.

And while Hillary came a little late to the party, she apparently has some Twitter savvy surrogates on staff who have minimized the length of her learning curve.

Let's have a look at a little of the high brow back and forth we can expect from the two presumptives.

This exchange prompted by the President's endorsement of the former Secretary of State.

Well, it ain't exactly "four score and seven years ago".

Hillary didn't let any grass grow getting down with the D man.



The few remaining kids who haven't moved onto Kik and left Twitter (like Facebook and Instagram, among others) to "old people" would explain that what Hillary "said" translates out to "you're irrelevant and so lacking in savvy that you should just shut it down and give it up".


Donald, predictably, volleyed venomously.

Well, as the Church Lady would suggest, isn't that special?

The presumptive nominees of the two major political parties for the office of President of the United States snipping, sniping, bickering and bitching at each other in a format that puts the level of discourse somewhere just south of Nicki Minaj throwing shade on Miley Cyrus and only just a tiny tad north of the snipping, sniping, bickering and bitching more commonly heard at the cool kids table in the middle school cafeteria.

No naivete' or rose colored glasses anywhere to be found in my take on things but, seriously, I really had hoped that "we, the people" were, at the very least, going to be afforded the common courtesy of spirited debate and discussion.

As opposed to spiting and dissing.

It was obviously too much to ask that we might experience, say, Lincoln and Douglas.

Or even Kennedy and Nixon.

But, really, Pee Wee and Francis?

Backbiting, pinching and pulling hair aren't new techniques when it comes to political campaigns.

In 1800, Thomas Jefferson offered up that his opponent, John Adams, was "a hideous, hermaphroditical character which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman".

English teachers across the land today, of course, feeling both aghast that campaigns were that dirty that long ago and nostalgic for a time when those dirty campaigns employed the kind of intellectual vocabulary that included words like "hermaphroditical".

"Crooked Hillary" is really more Kim and Khloe than Kipling, don't you think?

Speaking of Lincoln and Douglas, meanwhile, their 1860 war dance included Douglas' description of his soon to be immortalized adversary as "the leanest, lankest, most ungainly mass of legs and arms and hatchet face ever strung on a single frame".

Well, emancipate that, dude.

Couple of things worth noting, though, when it comes to presidential potshots of the past.

In Jefferson's case, he, at least, had the good sense to hire somebody to print with poison pen making, at least, an effort to appear statesmanlike as opposed to street fighter like.

And Douglas? Well, the fact that 150 years later, almost everyone can tell you who Abraham Lincoln was and who the Kardashians are, but, bet your lean, lank, ungainly mass of legs, nobody has a clue as to who Stephen Douglas was.

Food for thought.


I'm admittedly a romantic when it comes to ye olde quests for ye olde castle at 1600 Pennsylvania and, as a result, tend to feel a little extra cheated that campaign 2016 can't be more like, say, campaign 1960, when the young, dashing, upstart junior Senator from Massachusetts crossed swift, but civilized, swords with the swarthy, someday to be disgraced, Vice President of the United States.

And even if Nixon and Kennedy had had the technology that we all enjoy (or have inflicted upon us, as the case may be), I have a hard time picturing an exchange between the two along these maximum number of character lines.

Admittedly, the now revered days of "asking not what your country can do for you" were neither as lofty nor as literate as we would like to remember or as our parents and grandparents probably would have liked them to be.

But, in 1960, not to mention 1860 and 1800, the venom and vitriol and low blow, cheap shot shit stayed pretty much on the down low, if only because America had yet to become a nation of websites and blogsites and logging on and instant access to posting and tweeting and biting and pinching and pulling hair

In 2016, America has become that nation.

And rather than being inspired with articulate visions of the realizations of our collective hopes, dreams, goals and aspirations, we're looking at five more months of shade throwing where there should be lights shining, diss where there should be discussion, upmanship where there should be uplift.

@donaldthedemogogue and @crookedhillary

As the other nations of the world, as well as our own kids, the future generations of leadership log on and check out wazzup with Decision 2016, all they're apparently going to find is a throw down where a best man, or woman, winning should be.

Lots of words already flown.

Lots more fixin to fly.

The whole sad sorry state of this page in our history book, though, can be summed up in just 11...of 140 characters.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

"..Winkin', Blinkin'...And Bopping Yourself In The Face..."

Been a lot of talk, actually more in the way of snark, in the past year or so about Donald Trump's eyes.

And no matter our philosophical, spiritual, sexual or political positions on the philosophical, spiritual, sexual or political issues of these times, there is one plain and simple truth that cannot be refuted, debated or denied by anyone.

The dude has white circles around his eyes.

Very seldom so blatantly obvious as to be worthy of a new Kim Carnes chart topper, but always, in one shade or another, to one degree or another, plain to see.

The conventional wisdom, when offered, tends to laser in on Trump's apparent lack of skill when it comes to self tanning.

The overwhelming temptation, at this point, of course, is to find some way to work "throwing a little shade on the Donald" into the conversation here, but, we run a classier shop than that around here.

Not to mention that it goes without saying America is about not judging people by the color of their skin.

Or colors, as the case may be.

I'm no credentialed make-up artist, nor dermatologist and I'm not one of those who ultra violet-ly tan their hide, Clyde, so I've got nothing to offer in rebuttal to the tacky tanning theory.

After watching and listening to Trump in campaign action, though, lo, these past months, there is another cause of that distinctive discoloration that occurs to me.

And I was reminded of that cause when watching the coverage of the protests and arrests in San Diego Friday outside the scheduled Trump rally.

San Diego (CNN)Police clad in riot gear and wielding batons began dispersing a crowd of Donald Trump supporters and protesters here Friday night after the presumptive GOP nominee held a rally.

After issuing orders to the crowd of roughly 1,000 to disperse, police began forcefully and aggressively pushing protesters, checking them with their batons. At least 35 people were arrested, police said.
Even as there was no room to move, police officers continued to push protesters and reporters, with some toppling over in the fray. Police pepper-sprayed several protesters.
In a message to the San Diego Police Department, Trump applauded the officers' response to the protesters.
"Fantastic job on handling the thugs who tried to disrupt our very peaceful and well attended rally," Trump tweeted. "Greatly appreciated."
Some protesters sitting in a public square refused to move as police officers in riot gear moved in, leading to several arrests. 
The clashes began after Trump supporters flooded into the streets following the event at the San Diego Convention Center.
A few altercations broke out between supporters of the presumptive Republican nominee and protesters opposed to his campaign, particularly Trump's views on immigration.
Scores of police officers, clad in riot gear and clutching batons, separated the two groups. As protesters and supporters lingered in the streets, some individuals on both sides began throwing eggs, bottles and other objects at each other.
As the situation intensified at moments, with several volleys of bottles being tossed between the sides, police officers moved in, forcefully and at times aggressively pushing back Trump supporters, protesters and media caught in the scrum with their batons.
But while some violent altercations did break out, the two sides mostly shouted and chanted at each other. 
Protesters, some of whom waved Mexican flags, shouted "F--- Trump" and immigration-focused slogans.
Trump supporters countered with chants of "USA, USA" and "Build that wall," prompting responses of "F--- your wall."
One man, wearing a "Free Hugs" shirt, repeatedly stepped between the two sides, seeking to prevent physical altercations.

First, kudos and a "hear, hear, good show, chap" to that good hearted lad in the "Free Hugs" shirt.

Well intended and certainly well played, even though given the tone of the Trump Show to date, wearing a "Free Hugs" T to a Donald rally is a little like wearing a Stephen Hawking T to a Hank Jr. concert.

Meanwhile, back to the protest.

Watching various and sundry news panel shows over the last few days/weeks, it occurs that one bubble keeps rising to the top of the fizz and fuss, but no one, yet, has proffered the proper pin to pop it.

A non-Trump supporter/advocate/spokesperson/zealot makes an observation about something rude, crude, hateful, spiteful, cheap, low blow, et al, ad nauseum, E Pluribus Unum things that their great orange hope has said or done and the applicable Trump supporter/advocate/spokesperson/zealot immediately offers rebuttal, refutation and/or rationalization, usually including some kind of pivot in the direction of Hillary, Bernie or Barack.

Something along the lines of "well, those who are supporting Mr. Trump are simply expressing their long simmering resentment of the same old same old politics of promises and lies, promises and lies, promises and practiced by, most notably......(wait for it).....Secretary Clinton....Senator Sanders....President Obama..."

The level of Trump love/obsession can usually be measured by whether or not the speaker uses the term "President Obama", "Barack Obama" or, often, with just a soupcon of sneer, "Obama".

Pert near eight years, second of two terms pretty much drawing to a close and the bile is still so high up in their throats that they can't bring themselves to refer to the guy as "President".

Nope. No Ahab like obsession (or do the scratch test and find definitive signs of racism) there, let's move along. Nothing to see.

Meanwhile, as to the protestors who are daring to show the insolence of expressing their resentment at the rude, crude, hateful, spiteful, cheap, low blow, et al, ad nauseum, E Pluribus Unum things that their great orange hope has said or done?

Agitators. Losers. Fools and "libtards" who are just too damn stupid to see Hillary for the lying, murdering, evil bitch she is or Bernie for the hippy dippy Socialist loony tune he is.

They're the reason the streets are filled with anger. They're the reason there are protests in the street.

They're the reason that Mr. Trump's reasonable, mature, thoughtful insightful followers can't just gather together in peace and harmony to show their support and hear more of the masterfully thought out specific details of all the plans that their candidate has made to make America great again.

Yeah, yeah, very peaceful, model citizens, darn those "thugs", yada, yada.

Let's get back to that bubble I mentioned a few minutes ago.

But, first, in order to prevent as much "pivoting" as possible from the Defenders of the Donald, let's try this.

For the sake of discussion, let's pretend that we all, all of us, each and every ding dang one of us, agree on the following:

All of the candidates have given us valid reasons to oppose/dislike/disagree with/reject and/or resent them.

So, let's don't talk content. None. Zip. Zero. Nada.

Let's talk style. Nothing more. Zip zero nada.

Love her, hate her, wish her well, wish her an ending like Jimmy Hoffa, Hillary's presentation style is basically garden variety, business as usual campaigning.

Love him, hate him, wish him well, wish him into the cornfield, Bernie's presentation style is basically garden variety, business as usual campaigning.

Love him, hate him, wish him well, wish him back into the reality show that is 99% show and 1% reality, Donald's presentation style is anything but basic, garden variety, business as usual campaigning.

Assuming what a majority of us would define, based on fairness, common sense and an historical tradition of uplift and enlightening, as inspirational, none of the three tentatives/presumptives are inspiring us.

But of the three, only one candidate has opted to replace inspiring with inciting.

Three guesses and the first two don't count.

Even those political pundits who loudly and proudly shout out their opposition to the guy and articulately warn of the dangers of actually electing him President admit that Donald Trump is, if he is absolutely nothing else, possessed of an uncommon talent at working people into such a frenzy that they would do whatever he asked of them.

Cue Don Quixote here.

The thing is, my fellow 'Muricans is that this ain't no impossible dream.

This is real deal, Katy bar the door, kick the tires and light the fires shit pot stirring.

A style successfully employed throughout history by a host of successful shit pot stirrers.

Leaders of lynch mobs.

World leaders from the school of conquest and nuclear warheads in their backpacks.

Self proclaimed saviors with a pair of cool shades and a vat full of Kool-Aid.

By the way, at this point, this whole history of people stirring emotions and getting a lot of other people lathered up enough to follow blindly starts to shed a little light on all those controversial comparisons of Trump to Hitler that got the faithful all hot and bothered a while back.

People say that Trump is actually just like Hitler.

But I'm not saying that.

I'm just saying that people say that.

And there it is.

The bubble. The thing. The tell. The part of the magic trick that you don't see as it's going down, but is absolutely critical to pulling off the illusion.

Let's call it "the wink".

The technique that Trump is using to so masterfully mesmerize those who are...well, mesmerized.

Stirring up a global sized cauldron of passion and anger and frustration and venom and vitriol and viciousness and bigotry and hatred....while seeming to never lay a hand on, or anywhere near, the big spoon stirring it.

And the really remarkable thing here is that this manic magic is, once you get a peek at the "how to" video, absolutely nothing more than a noisier, more grandiose updating of a stunt we used to pull on each other when we were ten years old.

Grab the other kid's arm, use it to smack them in the face and keep chanting "why are you hitting yourself ?...why are you hitting yourself?"

Trump's mastery of the technique also includes the illusion of validation from others.

"...I'm not saying that Megyn Kelly is a bimbo who was on the rag during the first debate...but people tell me that she is...and was..."

"...I'm not saying that Carly Fiorina is ugly and nobody would vote for somebody with that face...but people tell me that she is and they wouldn't..."


"...I don't have a clue as to what this economic policy I'm going to offer means...but there are people who know a lot about economics who tell me that it's a good plan....a terrific plan..."


And then there's that zany little business about inciting people to hatred and/or violence.
Here's just one tiny tidbit of the eloquence and inspirational presentation of the Republican Party nominee for the office of President of the United States.

The protests, and accompanying anger and violence, in San Diego and, bet the black belt, kids, yet to come between now and, at the very least, November, are nothing more than the inevitable result of a irrefutable scientific fact.
Put a flame next to a flammable source and blazing fire will occur.
Through circumstance, fate, divine providence or just pure dumb damn luck, Donald Trump has been handed a global megaphone.
He, alone, decides how to use it.
He has chosen, thus far, to use it to incite, not inspire.
He has chosen to play to, and capitalize on, people's fear, anger, frustration and, in doing so, further energizes and inflames that fear, anger and frustration.
For those still a little fuzzy on the distinction between inspire and incite:



As to that distinctive discoloration in Donald's own face?
Well, some of it is obviously poor tanning technique.
But, something tells me that some, if not a lot of it, is the result of Donald's eyes opening and shutting a lot more than the average in the course of a little gesture that some of us use when we want others to know that we're just screwing with them or that we've put something over on someone.
Keep in mind, I'm not saying that Donald Trump is winking at his legions as he disrespects and denigrates pretty much everything that indicates class act behavior.
But people are telling me that's exactly what he's doing.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

"...Oh, Say Can You See..."

Historically, America admires politicians with vision.

There's just something about candidates who offer us the adventure and/or excitement of what waits for us just over the next horizon that makes it hard to resist flipping the little switch next to that candidate's name.

Yeah, we're all pretty down with that vision thing.

Not a lot of it to be seen this time around, though.

Oh, the fervent faithful will counter that their particular favorite son or daughter, be they a Donald or a Bernie or a Hillary, do, too, have vision.

But the vision I'm talking about is the kind that inspires us to ask what we can do for our country.

Not the kind that incites us to get excited about a wall that will surround our country.

Promises, pandering, defiance, demagoguery, frantic and freewheelin' fear mongering?

Oh, yeah. The still tentative trio are offering that up by the barge full.


Nah, not really.

But, the candidates aren't the only ones who are lacking vision this go round.

John and Jane American Voter are pretty lacking, too.

And it's that lack of vision that explains a lot about why Donald continues to do and say pretty much everything wrong and, yet, still be seen by so many as oh so right.

Dean Obeidallah, a former attorney, is the host of SiriusXM's weekly program "The Dean Obeidallah Show," a columnist for The Daily Beast and editor of the politics blog The Dean's Report. Follow him on Twitter: @TheDeansreport. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his

(CNN) Hypocrisy is not a strong enough word to describe Donald Trump's recent attacks on Bill Clinton's past alleged sexual misconduct from the 1990s. We really need to come up with a new term and maybe call it "pulling a Trump."

Who could have ever predicted that Trump, who had publicly defended Bill Clinton in the 1990s when these allegations first surfaced, and even cruelly slammed the women who made the accusations, would now try to make Bill's conduct an issue? 

Thankfully, Tuesday on CNN's "New Day," Chris Cuomo pressed Trump campaign surrogate and lawyer Michael Cohen on this issue in what turned out to be truly a master class in cross-

examination. Cuomo started out by sharing his view that Trump raising this issue was "bad for him" since Trump "defended Bill Clinton for years" against these very claims.

Cuomo specifically noted that Trump had in the past said the "same allegations you guys are talking about now were a waste of time, were wrong, were hollow, that Bill Clinton was a terrific guy, that he was a great president, that the impeachment was wrong."

The CNN host further exposed Trump's hypocrisy by highlighting that Trump had not only defended Bill Clinton, but Trump went a step further. He had publicly shamed Clinton's accusers. For example, Cuomo noted that Trump called Paula Jones, who alleged Clinton sexually harassed her, a "loser." And in regard to Linda Tripp from the Monica Lewinsky scandal, Trump had called her a "lying loser" and "the personification of evil." 

Cohen's response was why the word facepalm was invented. He told Cuomo that Trump only said those remarks because "he was being a true friend," adding, "it didn't matter to him at that point in time."

Hmmm, so to Trump, publicly shaming Clinton's accusers as "liars" and "evil" is just what friends do for each other? Interesting idea of friendship.

Cohen then tried to stop the beating Cuomo was inflicting on him by begging to talk about more current issues. OK, let's do just that. If Trump truly believed that Clinton was a sexual predator who assaulted numerous women, then why did Trump passionately praise Bill in a 2012 interview on Fox News?

And I don't mean Trump offered a few niceties in a perfunctory manner. Rather, Trump was like a gushing schoolboy with a crush on both Hillary and Bill Clinton in this must-see interview.
First Trump stated that Hillary, who he now calls an "enabler" of Bill's infidelity, was "a terrific woman." Adding, "I mean I'm a little biased because I've known her for years."

And then, in regard to Bill, he gushed, "I've known her and her husband for years and I really like them both a lot." He went on to say that Bill had just days before the interview made a speech at Trump's Mar-a-Lago private club that was "very well received." Trump then praised Bill again, calling him "a really good guy." 

Of course, this raises the question of who allows a person you truly believe is a serial sexual predator to give a speech at your private club? Add to that, who would donate over $100,000 to that guy's foundation? 

But that's exactly what Trump did with his donation to the Clinton Foundation, a not-for-profit organization started by Bill after he left the White House. (It's unclear the exact amount Trump donated but the Clinton Foundation's website indicates it's somewhere between $100,000 and $250,000.00.) 

And that doesn't even include the seven donations that Trump made to Hillary's past campaigns for the U.S. Senate and even to her 2008 presidential run.

What also makes this line of attack by Trump so bizarre is his well-documented record of abusively sexist comments. And we aren't just talking years ago, when as Megyn Kelly pointed out at a debate, Trump publicly called women he disliked, "fat pigs," "dogs," "slobs," and "disgusting animals." 

During this campaign he mocked Carly Fiorina's face saying, "Would anyone vote for that?" And of course Trump called Kelly a "bimbo" and suggested she was menstruating during the first GOP debate. 

Is Trump crazy like a fox? Or is he simply a guy who can't help but angrily respond to any attack upon on him and one without any master plan? Who knows, but as long as TV hosts challenge Trump and his surrogates like Cuomo did Tuesday, at least his incredible hypocrisy will be on view for all to see.

Since the moment it became obvious that the Trump candidacy was no joke and that his call to arms was actually being answered by millions and not just limited to those who think Freebird ranks with the finest work of Mozart and Beethoven and think Duck Dynasty should have long ago beaten out NOVA for that Peabody Award thing, an even larger number of people have been collectively shaking their heads in wonder, even bewilderment, that the Trump call to arms is being answered by so many and more than a few of those people have been collectively wondering, even asking loudly, when those arms call answerers are going to finally see this guy for the misogynist hypocrite bully that he is.

Here's a simple, albeit unfortunate, answer to that question.


Jeb Bush, in a recent interview, remarked that it was both unkind, and essentially incorrect, to label and dismiss people who very clearly see and hear the outrageous, egregious, even neurotic and/or psychotic things that Trump does and says, as they are often labeled these days, as stupid or idiots.

First, because if there truly are that many stupid and/or idiotic people walking upright amongst us with the right to vote, not to mention the right to bear arms, then we've got far larger problems than the mass support of a screamingly unsuitable candidate for the office of President of the United States.

But, more importantly, and Jeb strikes nail squarely on head here, because that's a misread of the mindset of those many who have supported and voted for the guy thus far.

And who are fully and zealously prepared to support and vote for the guy all the way to the point of watching him review the floats in the Inaugural Parade while somebody texts the nuclear launch codes to his IPad.

These folks, Bush the younger insightfully offers, are often, and in large measure, neither stupid nor idiotic, neither necessarily lacking in cognitive reasoning skills nor deficient in essentially humane core values.

They are, Jeb suggests, simply scared.

They are scared of the world we're living in circa 2016 and the threats both foreign and domestic that threaten us. They are scared of the feelings of helplessness and powerlessness that the disappearance of conventional enemies and the emergence of terrorist enemies conjures up in us all. They are scared of an economy so clearly commandeered, and operated, by a select group of powerful people who, seemingly at a whim, could send us all back to a yesteryear of long unemployment lines and/or selling apples on the street. They are scared of crime and disease and perversion and evil in all the forms it has traditionally taken and the new, even more insidious forms it is taking on with each new day. They are scared that someone is going to come kicking in their door in the middle of the night and rape their women, kill their children and confiscate their weapons, leaving them defenseless and powerless to fight back against terrors seen, unseen....

...and even imagined, thanks to the powers of suggestion, the human personality quirk of too easily believing without any effort made actually confirming and the dynamic, but always potentially devious and destructive, power of social media.


In that light, it's not only understandable, it's expected that a large number of people would easily, fervently and immediately, support, even love, the idea of someone coming along who seems to hold the promise of dealing swiftly and surely with those enemies foreign and domestic, enemies both seen and unseen, taking control back from those powerful few in corrupted command of our economy, take not just a bite out of crime, but chew it up and spit it out as harmless bits and pieces, repair and replace a still antiquated and woefully inadequate health care system, end crime, stop perversion and not only reinforce the locks and bars on that door preventing any late night invasion, but insuring that, in a worst case, no harm would ultimately come to women or children because nighttime terror would be kicking its way into a household rightfully bearing arms and stunningly locked and loaded.

Understandable, even expected, that so many would love the idea of someone coming along promising to do all that for us.

No matter how much actual and real possibility does, or does not, exist inside each promise.

Especially after so many years, even generations, of being lied to in the same old ways by the same old politicians, time after time after time after time.

Make America Great Again.

Who amongst us would reject the possibility, even the tiniest sliver of hope, that was really and genuinely possible?

Even if that possibility came in the form of promises from a misogynist hypocrite bully?

It isn't that even the most zealous supporters of Donald Trump don't see and hear the man for what he is.

And they don't necessarily love the man for what he promises.

They simply love the idea that there might be a chance, even an ice cube's chance, that the guy can deliver on even a few of the promises that he's making.

For the most part, there's nothing wrong with their vision or their ability to see and hear what is plain and obvious before them.

And they're not stupid nor idiots.

They simply love the idea.

And love is blind.