Archive for the 'Election' Category

ReDemrocans

It was reliably reported this morning that Donald Trump has personally contacted Hillary Clinton to offer her a deal.

Smarting from what he perceives to be an unfair advantage gained by the Democrats at their Philadelphia convention, Mr. Trump believes that his only chance to make it to the Oval Office is to team up with Secretary Clinton. The details of the deal offered by Mr. Trump are sketchy but they are believed to include the following:

Both Mr. Trump and Secretary Clinton would run together as “ReDemrocans”.

Following their victory in November, they would become “Co-Presidents” jointly occupying the White House. Due to the crowded quarters, the vice-presidency would be abolished.

Presidential decisions would be made by Mr. Trump on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Secretary Clinton would assume that responsibility on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. No decisions would be made or actions taken on Sundays.

Secretary Clinton is free to appoint her own cabinet. Mr. Trump does not want a cabinet.

Congress would be equally divided between Republicans and Democrats. The current imbalance will be resolved by coin flips. Future congressional elections will be unnecessary. Vacated positions would be filled by one or the other Co-President depending on the day of the week that the vacancy occurred. Ditto for the Supreme Court.

In the event that one of the Co-Presidents should die in office, the remaining Co-President will commit suicide.  The country can then figure out what to do after that.

When contacted by Fox News about the deal, Mr. Trump denied any knowledge of it and blamed Chelsea Clinton for leaking the story. “It must be her time of the month” he said.

Trumpenstein

Following last Friday’s Shabbat service, we went to dinner with a few other congregants at a local eatery. It’s one of the highlights of the evening and is usually accompanied by some cheap wine, interesting conversation and strengthening of friendships.

I was fortunate to grab a seat right across the table from Ralph. Always erudite and entertaining, his company is welcomed. Looking across at him I noted that his right eye seemed to be irritated and tearing. I’ve noticed it before but I’ve never asked him about it. Being halfway into my first glass of wine, I felt confident enough to broach the subject. Ralph kindly offered me a rather detailed explanation of the relatively harmless malady that he has endured for years. “Always the right eye?” I asked.

Maybe it was the wine and his eye that then led to a discussion of the brilliant Mel Brooks movie, Young Frankenstein.  To my amazement, Ralph had never seen the movie and so had no idea why I launched into it. “You see, there’s this guy Igor, Dr. Frankenstein’s helper, who has this big hump on his back. And scene to scene it migrates from the right side to the left side. Then back again. Frankenstein occasionally comments on the migration but Igor seems unaware of it.” I had visions of Ralph’s malady behaving in the same manner as Igor’s hump.

Which, naturally enough, led us into politics and to an analysis of the rise of Donald Trump…a logical segue since Trump rhymes with hump.

Now I don’t think that The Donald is nearly as funny as Peter Boyle’s portrayal of the Frankenstein monster in the Mel Brooks movie. But I do think that the movie bears some amazing parallels to the rise of Trump in the Republican party.

In the beginning of the movie, Doctor Frankenstein, ably portrayed by Gene Wilder, has sworn off the business of creating the kind of monsters that his ancestors long ago trafficked in. But, overwhelmed by the call for greatness, he ignores the evil failures wrought by his predecessors and decides to resurrect the grisly, ancient practice. Sort of like Republican leaders who ignore this country’s changing demographics and continue to bow and scrape before old, rich white men.

Wilder and Igor, played by the google-eyed Marty Feldman, piece together the monster from a body stolen from the local cemetery and grey matter taken from the town’s brain depository. A mishap causes them to unknowingly insert a maniac’s brain into the creature’s skull. Wilder and Feldman try to make the best of their error.  Like trying to create the Republican party from wise and caring folks but doing it instead with the bits and pieces of angry people who’ve been told that they live in the worst of times and should do something about it.

Thinking the monster is under control, Wilder and his lab assistant played by the lovely Teri Garr, drop their guard and allow him to escape the confines of the castle and roam wildly through the countryside. Taking advantage of the charms of the funny Madeline Kahn is merely an hors d’oeuvre as the creature burns and pillages. Sort of like those in the Republican party who ignored, and then cheered The Donald as he alienated nearly everyone on the planet.

“I think we’ve had more than enough,” says the local police chief.  Played by the wooden-handed Kenny Mars, the chief enlists the villagers to seek out and destroy the monster.  Just like the Republican old guard who finally recognize what they’ve created and have taken up the cudgel in an effort to dismember The Donald.

Cornered, and having learned his lesson, the Mel Brooks monster retreats to the castle, is relieved of his ferocity and becomes a member in good standing of the community.

And here all parallels with the Brooks fantasy end. For Trumpenstein hasn’t learned anything, except that being a monster can be very rewarding.

Ignore and Dissent

Mitch McConnell, the Republican majority leader in the senate has decided that the “advise and consent” language of the Constitution isn’t enough of a check and balance on the black guy’s ability to fill vacancies on the Supreme Court. Simply ignoring the black guy is the preferred course of action.

As Mitch elaborated “Republicans think the people deserve a voice in this decision. The President does not. So we disagree in this instance and as a result, we logically act as a check and balance.”  A bit of twist on the reading of the Constitution that will be embraced only by the party faithful…along with climate change denial, the age of the planet and need to trash the Affordable Care Act.

Fearing that his own party might sabotage McConnell’s plan to keep anyone to the left of Genghis Kahn off the court, Mitch has simply decided to ignore the problem until it has gone away. As soon as a Republican is seated in the Oval Office, Mitch will suddenly find the time to consider a nomination. Meanwhile, per the Senate leader, there are other important matters that the Senate will fill its time with. High on that list include consummation of the Louisiana Purchase, establishing statehood for Alaska and, in a nod to Liberals, the possible abolition of slavery.

A potential glitch in Mitch’s ignore and dissent plan is the possible election of a Democrat to the Oval Office and, heaven forbid, the loss of enough Senate seats to put the Woody Allen look-alike Harry Reed back in control of that austere body.  Along with Hillary Clinton steering the ship of state, poor Mitch might actually be on the short end of a confirmation process that installs Ralph Nader in the seat vacated by Justice Scalia.

Not to be outdone by McConnell’s circular logic, Republican Senator Grassley, head of the committee that would actually conduct the nomination hearing had this to say “…a lifetime appointment that could dramatically impact individual freedoms and change the direction of the court for at least a generation is too important to get bogged down in politics.” Duh.

In contrast to those who would blatantly ignore the Constitution by postponing their job until after the election, Senator Corey Booker, Democrat of New Jersey said “We swore to defend the Constitution of the United States and to faithfully discharge the duties of the offices we hold. There was no addendum to the oath that excuses us from our responsibilities during an election year.”

So there you have it.  Republicans simply don’t want to lose the Supreme Court advantage they’ve had for decades and they’d rather shut down the government once again in order to get what they want. It’s a naked power grab and all other convoluted explanations of Republican behavior are blatant lies easily understood by anyone with a third grade education.

Perhaps rather than worrying about the seat that Judge Garland might occupy, Republicans should be more worried about their own seats come November.

I’m Available

As long as the Republicans have decided to close their eyes, ears and mouths when it comes to even considering a Supreme Court replacement for Scalia, I’d like to apply for the job.

It makes no sense to me for the Black Guy to nominate a truly qualified person since the selection would be sentenced to the bowels of an already constipated Senate.  And the nominee would be also be harming his or her chances at some other important job.  Like Postal Commissioner or Surgeon General, guys who have a lot of impactful things to do.

So, since I have no desire to shred envelopes or tell people to quit drinking good vodka, I hereby throw my hat into the ring. I’ve got very little to do for the next ten months so I can devote my full attention to filling the vacancy created by Scalia’s timely departure.

And I have no baggage to bring to the Court. I’m not an attorney, know next to nothing about the law and have, as evidenced by my blogs, no axe to grind with anyone. My last brush with the law was a parking ticket thirty years ago, so vetting by the FBI should take less than a day.

If I am nominated and confirmed, I promise to emulate the way some others behave on the highest bench in the land. In particular, I will refrain from opening my mouth in open court, thereby eliminating any possibility of shaming myself or causing embarrassment to my colleagues. This has worked well for at least one member of the court who has, it is said, been present but silent for more than two decades.

Actually, what with the ease of communicating electronically, I can stay home, listen to the proceedings with my stereo headphones and then vote by pressing a button, just like many of our Congressmen or Senator Rubio.

My nearly four score age is a plus too. Already living on borrowed time, an accelerated departure is probably in the cards as a result of the stress I will be under deciding the fate of others. Forget about the lack of impunity or accountability enjoyed by the sitting justices. Being Jewish, I bring a boatload of guilt to the job, sure to make my life a living hell. So, I’m probably up for a short, quiet, no waves tenure that’ll probably be over before The Donald squats in the Oval Office.

On the rare occasions that I will be present in the courtroom, I promise to bring a stoic, judicial appearance that will bring confidence to my colleagues and to those presenting arguments to the Court. Nodding knowingly at the right moments and curling my lip when appropriate will enhance my stature with others.

Depending completely on my law clerks to form my opinions will be standard operating procedure. After all, who knows the law better, an old guy like me or someone fresh out of law school angling for a future zillion dollar job with a multi-national law firm.

So there you have it. A no-risk solution to a problem that everyone thought was a Constitutional crisis. I’ll even buy my own lunch.

I hope that the Black Guy and the Kentucky Colonel are reading this blog. You guys know how to reach me. But don’t take too long. I expect to soon hear from The Donald about the job of Attorney General.

Shoot first, aim later

It was my birthday, May 13, 1939. The SS St. Louis was carrying 900 German Jews fleeing the Nazis.  They had hoped to land in Cuba and then proceed to the United States but were refused entry by the Cuban government.  With no place to go, the ship returned to Europe and over 250 of those refugees were eventually murdered in Nazi death camps. The United States government played a role in that crime against humanity by also refusing to accept them.

Fast forward seventy-six years.  A band of murdering misfits guns down helpless Parisians whose principal crime was enjoying all that Paris has to offer.  Talking heads go into high gear predicting the end of humanity as we know it. They create an atmosphere of mistrust where people “unlike us” are to be avoided, suspected and kept in their place.

Politicians, seeing fodder for their flagging campaigns, leapt into action and promised to be the answer to the threat hovering somewhere in the ether.  Marco Rubio, forgetting his own heritage for the expedient moment, said that we should stop accepting Syrian refugees.  Not for a moment did he seem to comprehend that these are the very people who are fleeing the murdering misfits.

Jeb Bush, fearing permanent assignment to the ignominious list of also-rans, is somewhat more accepting of the refugees..so long as they are Christians.  Continuing the parade of presidential hopefuls who believe that it’s constitutional to discriminate by religion, Senator Ted Cruz said Sunday in South Carolina “There is no meaningful risk of Christians committing acts of terror.” Duh.

Donald Trump, once a lukewarm supporter of Syrian immigration, turned his coat and announced that he would, as President, deport any of that ilk. Coupled with his demand that eleven million illegal aliens be summarily ripped from their homes and sent back to their ancestral homes leaves him batting a thousand.  But looking for more points than his competition led him to suggest on Monday that he would “strongly consider” shutting down Muslim mosques in this country in response to the Paris attacks.  “Some of the absolute hatred is coming from these areas…The hatred is incredible. It’s embedded. The hatred is beyond belief. The hatred is greater than anybody understands.”

Reaching for the gold ring, the current heir apparent to the Republican Presidential nomination, Ben Carson, offered this inexplicable foreign policy during a Sunday interview on Fox News..

  • Stated he would not allow refugees into the US because of his “frontal lobes”
  • Insisted that China is active in the Syrian conflict
  • Struggled to name a single coalition partner he could call upon to combat ISIS
  • Advocated a shooting match with Russia over a no-fly zone

A respectable cadre of Republican governors, led by Alabama and Mississippi, joined the “Keep Out the Refugees” chorus by issuing statements saying that those miserable people would find no solace in their otherwise safe and happy states. And if I had a choice, I’d avoid those two states too.

These shoot first and aim later politicians surely are smart enough to realize that their actions merely fall right into the plot set by ISIS.  Generate havoc, let world leader wannabes shout out against Muslims and then reap the windfall of more misfit volunteers to their blighted cause.  But no, fear mongering reaps more votes at the ballot box than calls for helping persecuted people do.

Maybe it’s the “silly season” but I’m not laughing.

Please…enough already

Please…enough already.

I’ve worn down the delete key of my old HP PC by banishing hundreds of political messages to the trash bin. Messages that warn me that Republican Armageddon will arrive right on schedule on November 4…unless I send money.  Lots of money.  The world will come crashing down on us if my deficit-saddled candidates don’t meet their October fund-raising goals.  And I’m solely responsible.

But things can’t be all that bad, can they? This morning I saw a CNN footer crawl across my bloated political message laden screen that announced “candidates are having a very tough time finding available ad space on TV.”  Big surprise.

More importantly, why is everyone so down in the mouth about the Democrats’ chances of keeping even one back row seat in the 2015 Senate? Live with it I say. It’s your turn in the barrel.  A much improved economy, healthcare for millions, military exits from places we never should have been, and a surprisingly robust stock market have no bearing on the voting habits of the general public.  TV has seen to that.

And then there’s the House of Representatives. There’s not a chance that the House might even seat one surprise Democrat victor.  Everyone knows that the Republicans have a lock on that asylum.  The Democrats have thrown in the towel and the bathtub.  Fugedaboudit.

And what’s up with that eerie silence of late in both the House and among the Senate minority Republicans about their god-given moral assignment to repeal Obamacare.  Accustomed as I am to their single-mindedness about the issue, I find myself missing the vitriolic speeches about the days of death panels, government control of my body and the first step toward a Communist takeover.

Perhaps the ebola virus has taken center stage. Along with the obvious…that it’s all Obama’s fault.  The two cases of the dreaded pestilence could surely have been prevented had the President been on duty in that Texas hospital emergency room when the first of what surely will be tens of millions of cases turned up.  You won’t have to rely on Hollywood manufactured Zombie movies anymore.  They’ll be right at your doorstep.

Fortunately, this morning I was relieved of any concern that something might actually get done in the newly constituted, Republican majority Senate. On Tuesday, in a rare instance of stark realism, the about-to-be Senate leader Mitch McConnell admitted that Obamacare could not be repealed since the Republicans will not, save a miracle conjured up by Pat Robertson or Billy Graham, have the required sixty seats to ram through the as yet unannounced Republican version of a new, more wonderful, healthcare system. But then all hell broke loose in the Conservative ranks.  How dare Mitch, that normally reliable Luddite, even for a moment consider such a logical, but never-to-be-spoken-of possibility.

“Ooops, my bad”, he said. Remembering that he was up for re-election in less than a week, Mitch regained his other-world composure and quickly announced that he was “fully committed to the repeal of Obamacare.”  Shocking.  In brief, he would do so through the previously despised (when the Democrats did it) slippery procedure called Reconciliation.  Requiring only a simple majority in the Senate, Mitch would send blizzards of bills to the President that would, if signed, assure the continuation of the Government (budgets, appointments, housekeeping stuff) in the Republican mode (you know, banning abortion, stopping gay marriage, easing pollution regulations, liberalizing banking rules, loosening consumer protections, strengthening the military and maybe impeaching the black guy.)  And, attached to those bills would be a few succinct phrases that would also dismantle Obamacare.  Aaaah, a breath of fresh air.

Forced to watch the Government descend into nothingness should he not sign the bills, the black guy could cave and Obamacare will be the first victim of its own death panel. A barrage of vetoes by the reclusive (or is it dictatorial) foreign born alien would assure the Republicans of two years worth of talking points that blame the Kenyan sitting in the Oval Office for everything from the disgrace of an unprepared military to a lack of toilet paper in the Senate visitors’ gallery.  Then again, maybe a lack of toilet paper is just the right accompaniment for a constipated Congress.

So, my friends. Not to worry.  We will have the same sort of gridlock for the next two years.  But at least we won’t have to worry about good government interfering with the circus-like atmosphere of nominating the 2016 presidential candidates.

Eight years is enough

President Obama took the oath of office today, beginning his second term as President of the United States.

Republican Senate leader, Mitch McConnell, immediately denounced the event as “leading to four more years of wild-assed spending, confiscation of everyone’s guns and further degradation of the White House by the presence of a black guy who had stolen the election from whatever his name was.”

McConnell also vowed to make sure that Mr. Obama would not serve a third term as President. Promising to introduce a Constitutional amendment to limit the president to two terms, he said “No one, especially someone born in Kenya, should be able to serve more than eight years in the Oval Office.”

When reporters at the scene noted that there already was such a limitation in the Constitution, Mr. McConnell responded “Never mind.”

McConnell’s statement went viral and prompted a number of supportive responses by prominent Republicans. Donald Trump agreed with the need for a Constitutional amendment by insisting that the current provision doesn’t go far enough and may, in fact, be a forgery. He demanded to see the original document and immediately appointed his long-time friend and financial guru, Bernie Madoff , to conduct an investigation.

Michele Bachmann, a leading member of the House Intelligence Committee, took time out from drafting her thirty-fourth legislative proposal to repeal Obamacare and promised to introduce the two-term limitation in the House. Supported by twenty-seven Tea Party congressmen wearing tri-cornered hats and carrying muskets, she said “I don’t really care if there already is a Constitutional provision. My goal is to make sure we don’t forget about it. After all what’s more important, reminding people about the limit or doing things that actually improve people’s lives?” Refusing to take further questions, she rushed off to her Committee to re-open an investigation of the Lincoln assassination.

Glenn Beck took time out from building his libertarian-utopia theme park called Independence, USA where, for a price, you can live out his dream of America The Way It Should Be. “I don’t really give a rat’s ass about Obama serving a third term. Independence, USA will be a sovereign country governed by no one. On the other hand, I’d be happy to promote the Constitutional amendment as a visiting scholar and world ambassador. It’s the least I can do for my former country.”

Rick Perry, fresh from arguing that anyone licensed to carry a gun should be able to bring it into a school, insisted that his first order of business on Monday will be to bring the two-term limit to a vote in the Texas Legislature. When reporters reminded him that the amendment had to be first approved by Congress he said, “I must have missed that when I went to school. But then I was too busy learning my ABD’s.”

Former President George Bush said “What’s the Constitution?”


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