Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Politics 2016

                             

Luckily the USA has a mature and sophisticated populace. No demagogue could arise in this country, we're much too intelligent to allow it to happen here. We'd know better...right?



The Envelope Please

                                                          Image result for tony award

A special Tony Award should be granted to Donald Trump for Best Actor in the role of a Republican Presidential Nominee. He's done a great job pretending to be a politician, he's won over the majority of the Republican electorate this year. His performance can be seen in the Theater of the Absurd, and on the road in regional venues all across the country.


       Image result for trump funny              Image result for trump funny moments


   Image result for trump clown            Image result for trump stupid

What a performance!

Cruz Sings the Bluz

                           

Bye-bye Ted. Even though you are a heinous candidate, you were the last real hope for Republicans to stop Trump, but when the going got very tough, you left.

I'm not surprised, you are a poor excuse for an American, what with your anti-minority beliefs. Bye for now, you loathsome cretin.

Now, on to waiting for Trump to implode.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Lies and Damned Lies


          

This "ad" was shown tonight at our union meeting. It's just one of many that the "Right to Work" advocates use in their lying propaganda war against unions.

We heard from a representative from a Wisconsin union that has borne the brunt of the political war against unions and the middle class. Governor Scott Walker's Wisconsin is one of many "ground zero's" in the ever strengthening Right to Work movement. What was once unthinkable is now the horrible reality of the decimated unions of Wisconsin.

The seventeen buffoons that vied for the Republican presidential nomination were certainly entertaining. It may seem hilarious that Donald Trump is on the precipice of an outright clinching of the nomination, but the clown car that is the modern Republican party has a radical conservative agenda that, while pathetically failing in the Presidential elections, has had a great deal of success on a state and local level.

The future of this country lies in the success of the middle class, but the middle class is suffering relentlessly from the anti-labor laws that are being enacted across the country. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Two Steps Forward, Two Steps Back

Ted Cruz and John Kasich have forged an alliance to further their anti-Trump agenda. In spite of their past antagonistic behaviour, it's nice to finally see them play nice.


                          

Ticket Brokers in Settlement With New York Over Scalping Laws - The New York Times

Ticket Brokers in Settlement With New York Over Scalping Laws - The New York Times



Oddly enough, Ticketmaster wasn't mentioned in this article.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Smartphones and Dumb Users

                                 Image result for unlock

Banks and cell phone makers are tripping over themselves to put new methods of payments into consumer's hands. Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Android Pay, etc, are ways to have your credit card information put into smartphones and allow payments wirelessly at terminals at merchant's checkout spots.

It seems very convenient, and most everyone has or will have a smartphone that will have the capability to use it. Win win? No, not really.

If news reports are to be believed, the U.S, government has been able to crack into a cellphone to retrieve data that it believes it needs. It was not the latest generation of smartphones, but still, they have apparently exploited a vulnerability that allows the government, or anyone with access to the method of cracking the encryption, access to private data.

Why would banks, merchants, or consumers welcome the adoption of any payment method that requires inputting credit card information into crackable smartphones?

It makes no sense at all. 

Friday, April 15, 2016

When He Uses a Word...

   

The other day, Paul Ryan, the reluctant Speaker of the House, once again, and once and for all, claimed that despite the fervent hopes of the Republican party elites, he would neither seek or accept the Republican nomination for President in this most fractured political year.

"Count me out," says Ryan. He says that the Republican delegates should only choose someone that "has participated in this year's primaries and caucuses."

So Ryan says that if no one in the Republican race gets the required number of delegates, the delegates must choose from Trump, Cruz or Kasich.

Or does it?

Some cynics cling to the belief that Ryan says "no" but means "maybe." Perhaps. Politicians are not known for sticking to their word.

But, maybe the "Ryan Rule" of selecting only a candidate that has participated in the primaries is explicitly true. It isn't as simple as it seems.

Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, and all the rest of the earlier candidates still have control over any delegates they may have won. Remember, all any of them have said was that as they dropped out of active campaigning was that they were "suspending" their candidacy. Suspend does not actually mean quitting.

If there is to be a floor fight in Cleveland this summer, could Ryan be positioning himself to promote Jeb or Marco as the Republican nominee? That would surely assuage the frustrated party regulars that seem to have lost control of the party to the demented duo of Trump and Cruz.

Why might this be possible? In spite of the small chance of any zombie Republican like Bush or Rubio actually winning the Presidency, the opportunity to perhaps salvage the down ballot candidates for the Senate and House that would be ripe for the picking if Trump or Cruz were to head the ticket.

It would be a fitting end to a particularly entertaining political season, though the long term prospects of a more fringe Republican party continue to grow dimmer.  

Friday, April 8, 2016

From Philly to Greensboro and Beyond

                    


North Carolina has enshrined into law new hateful and unconscionable repression of American citizens in the name of "religious freedom", that modern day buzzword for hate and bias.

All manner of boycotts and sanctions are being put into place to pressure the state to repeal it's disgusting law. Companies pulling out, official travel barred to North Carolina, and now a Bruce Springsteen concert cancelled by the rock star in a compelling show of solidarity with those that seek to repeal.

So worried are we about fanatical radical Islam in faraway lands.

In the twenty-first century, our own country is beset by fanatical radical Christians, subverting their religion as terrorists subvert Islam in Europe and the Middle East. North Carolina is not the sole locus of this deeply ingrained hate and intolerance.

The United States has a long and shameful history in not allowing various groups to enjoy the rights enshrined in our Constitution. You could say this malevolence is in our national DNA, tendencies that must forever be fought against by people of good will, on the journey of our nation to the fulfillment of it's highest ideals.

The repugnance of North Carolina's new law illustrates how long and unrelenting the fight will need to be.



Monday, April 4, 2016

Firewall College

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It will be interesting to watch the chaos that the Republican National Convention promises to be. With no candidate clinching victory, an open convention appears very possible. Multiple rounds of voting, back room deals, and frequent rules changes by the Republican elites trying to block the ascension of Donald Trump to the Republican nomination for President will provide much entertainment, not seen since the conventions I vaguely recall from my tender youthful years.

While I hope Trump triumphs, it won't be easy for him. While his victory in Cleveland would, I believe, seal a Republican defeat, and tear at the fabric of the Republican party for years, it does feel somewhat spooky a thought if the unthinkable were to happen and Trump winds up winning the general election. President Trump? Quelle horreur!

There would, in this fever dream of a scenario, be one last barrier to Trump assuming the Presidency. That would be the Electoral College.

The Electoral College, that vestigial constitutional appendage that no one is very happy with. As rarely relevant as it is, as recently as 2000 the Electoral College played a pivotal role in deciding the ultimate winner (along with the Supreme Court, also).

So with foresight rivaling Nostradamus, the founding fathers have provided a constitutional firewall to prevent the installation of a candidate of,  in this excerpt from Wikipedia,  "an interested and overbearing majority" and the "mischiefs of faction" in an electoral system. He (James Madison) defined a faction as "a number of citizens whether amounting to a majority or minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community. 

If this dramatic scenario were to play out, with a popularly elected Trump trumped by a "faithless" Electoral College, I think the next big Broadway musical would have to be "Madison".