Thursday, June 16, 2016

And for those of you who like sport . . .

There's politics.

My goodness and by Great Hastur, it's been a busy week on the political front since Clinton became the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party after winning the California primary back on June 7th.

First, though:

With the District of Columbia primary last night, the 2016 Presidential primary cycle is now over! 

Bernie Sanders and his wife called on Hillary Clinton at a DC hotel last night, and many people have speculated that the terms of his surrender were being negotiated. Nothing's been revealed yet, but here's a few speculations:

1. Sanders promised that he would see this thing through to the convention, so he might do it in a pro forma fashion, so that he can tell his supporters that he kept his promise.

2. He wants a seat at the table when it comes to writing the platform. I think that's doable, and a tribute to Sanders' forcing a shift in the conversation.

3. He needs time to steer his supporters toward the Clinton campaign (and pay no attention to the Trumpanzees who masquerade as BernieBros).

4. One of the things that gained Obama much respect from Clinton in 2008 was that yes, she did concede to him, but a roll call vote was allowed in the convention to showcase how well she had done. Something similar may be in the offing.

And now we turn to the Republican candidate. First, here's the GOP Party Anthem in all its glory:

There was much quiet wailing and gnashing of teeth in the back rooms at the GOP, because their presumptive nominee continues to see how well he can imitate the Worm Ouroboros by swallowing his own feet down to the knees, backwards. Trump's been jumping up and down, ranting about this and that.

Let's see how that's been working for him, shall we? To be fair, I will leave out his responses to the Orlando Massacre - I'll save those for later.

The most interesting thing to come out of the week vis-a-vis Trump was some early polling out of Utah. The Beehive State hasn't flipped blue since Johnson crushed Goldwater back in 1964. However, the poll shows Clinton tied with Trump at 35%, with the Libertarian Gary Johnson a strong second at 15%.

Yeah, a serious "WTF?!" moment.

Now, this is an early poll, with no previous polling to show trend lines. We can still infer a thing from this.

Utah is predominantly Mormon, a religious minority that was driven out of the United States because of their beliefs. Hmm. Which religious minority has been threatened with expulsion lately in this political contest? Hmm.

Yes, that's right. Islam.

Now, Mormons, along with very fundamentalist Christians and radical Islam, have a few things in common - they're all anti-gay, they're wanting to impose religious law over a secular society, and they're generally intolerant of others. Despite that, the Mormons are probably feeling a bit of empathy for the fact that the GOP nominee has been yelling about deporting Muslims from the USA and barring Muslims from entering the country.

Or, as one analyst tweeted, "Donald Trump is doing the impossible - he's converting Mormons!"

Which reminds me - National Public Radio's Marketplace program decided to sort out the economic impact of a Muslim ban on the United States, and it ain't pretty. Just blocking Muslims from abroad coming here on vacation will cost the US about $20 Billion a year. Toss in students, doctors, professionals, etc., and now you're talking actual money.

But all of that paled when compared to the aftermath of what happened early Sunday morning in Orlando, of which more later. 

Fun, Fun, Fun, in the Sun, Sun, Sun

(Posted before the June 4th California primary.)

This past weekend saw Democratic primary contests in the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Let's leave aside the sorry fact that these voters, who are American citizens, can vote for a political candidate for President but cannot vote for their party's nominee for the highest public office. Just like American Samoa and Guam.

Clinton came into the weekend needing about 67 delegates to sew up the nomination, and started out well by garnering a fat, swollen bounty of six delegates from the US Virgin Islands. It's a tropical paradise immortalized in this dialogue from the movie The Cheap Detective:

Marcel: Gentlemen, may I present Miss Betty DeBoop from the Islands?
Colonel Schlissel: Caribbean or Virgin?
Betty DeBoop: Well, let's just say I came back a Caribbean.

Delightfully gauche.

That was on Saturday; on Sunday Puerto Ricans went to the polls for a rousing hustings. Puerto Rico is, like the Virgin Islands, a beautiful piece of America, as shown (and mocked) in this MST3K short:

However, the Commonwealth has a lot of economic troubles (admittedly, some appear to have been self-inflicted), as seen in this bit from John Oliver's Last Week Tonight:

Honestly, isn't it sad that comedians are better journalists than everyone in the Fourth Estate?

Well, anyway, once the fur stopped flying, Clinton had carried the territory, 61-39 and netting 40 delegates. It puts her close to sewing things up.

Sanders' camp, on the other paw, is screeching blue murder that the polling was rigged in Puerto Rico, claiming that there were a lower number of polling places available. The Sanders camp asked for that, so I can only assume that their current caterwauling is due to rum hangovers.

But we still have one more Big Day of this madness to contend with. Tuesday sees the following states voting: California, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, North and South Dakota. While California is the biggest prize of all, New Jersey may put Clinton over the top before polling ever ends in the Golden State. Polling indicates her having only a slim, margin-of-error lead over Sanders.

Speaking of Sanders, he's getting more strident every day and his followers are stooping to violent language and activity. Not on, Bernie my lad, not on at all. Most of the 'wrongdoing' you carp about is either your own doing or because you don't have the organizational skills Clinton brought with her from participating in three Presidential campaigns. Yes, you may make a lot of noise in the Convention, but the upshot of all the Sturm und Drang will be that Clinton will still get the Great Green Weenie of Nomination.

Notice I've left out the Elephant in the Room, Donald Trump. Alphabetical order, peeps.

Faced with a lawsuit over the scam that was Trump University, Trump did what he does best - attack people personally, by stating flat-out that since the judge is "Mexican," there's no way he can be unbiased in the case because of Trump's immigration policy. True fact, Judge Gonzalo Curiel was born in Indiana to American citizens, and bonus true fact, his mother came to this country years before Trump's mother. But we must remind ourselves that Trump, and many of his followers, do not believe in facts or the truth.

Instead of walking it back, Trump doubled down on his stance, and implied that he didn't think a Muslim judge would be unbiased either. He based this on his stance toward Islam.

The Republican establishment prefer their racism of the quiet, dog whistle variety, so you heard Speaker Paul Ryan (the latest high-ranking pol to lick Trump's taint) merely say that the remarks were "out of left field," a sentiment echoed by Senate Majority Leader McConnell.

Since Trump is the presumptive nominee right now, the final flurry of voting tomorrow will matter, just not as much as it would have if The Mule hadn't disrupted the GOP's Plan.

Wednesday, June 01, 2016


Yes, Republicans.  Bend over; it won't hurt . . . much.

Hi-ho, everyone! It's the first day of June, the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season. If you don't have a disaster plan or supplies in place yet, what the hell are you waiting for?

Public service announcement over. Onward! Allons-y!

There was much movement on the political front since the last time - gosh and gee whillikers, was it only seventeen days ago? - so it's time for a bit of catching up.

Over on the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton was told that she was a Very Naughty Person for using her private email server to handle State Department business. The fact that the previous ones, Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice, did the same goddamned thing apparently escaped the notice of the Chattering Class. Fun fact, people - the current Secretary, John Kerry, is the only one who is actually following the rules and using the State Department email servers, so you can expect leaks from "highly placed sources within the State Department."

Will this result in criminal charges? No, so stop creaming your jeans about it.

Bernie Sanders is still soldiering on, but has tarnished himself a bit by trying to oust members of the DNC Platform Committee. Save it for the Convention, Bernie, and you're not going to get the nomination anyway. His rhetoric's ratcheting up to near Trumpian levels, which doesn't make him look good.

There are four more primary election dates this month (the District of Columbia Democratic primary on the 14th wraps things up), and Clinton could conceivably lock things up. Today's Quinnipiac poll (skeptical of Clinton; the only polling house more anti-Hillary is Rasmussen, which is a GOP shill) shows her leading Sanders nationally 53 to 39 percent, with rising percentages across gender, education and other lines. Other polls show her numbers rising as well, leaving not much for Sanders to be happy about; the worst poll for Clinton, CBS/NYT, show Clinton at +7.

So now we turn, with heavy heart and growling spleen, to Donald Trump.

The glow that Trump enjoyed after Cruz and Kasich left the campaign has faded. People have started listening to him more as he's started to actually take policy positions, and he's been caught in obvious lies. Sure, he lambastes the media for daring to actually ask him questions rather than fawning over him, and I think that if he does get elected we'll see the first-ever lese majeste laws in this country.

(Don't know what those are? Those are laws where you pay fines, go to jail or prison, or even be shot for criticizing the government or the head of state. Yeah, think about that.)

Back to polling. The GOP-oriented Rasmussen poll indicated, post-Indiana, that Trump was leading Clinton by 5%. That was May 19th. That same pollster now has Clinton leading by 1%, a six-point swing in two weeks. That worries the RNC nabobs, as does the fact that Trump's campaign has already abandoned the "I'm self-funding my campaign so I won't be beholden to no one" idea and has told the Politbureau that it needs money to buy ads for June and July. Not a good sign.

An even worse sign for Trump is that his last set of financial disclosures show that he's in hock to Deutsche Bank for somewhere upwards of $50 million dollars or so. It could be higher, but 50's the threshold on the forms. Deutsche Bank's already been fingered in the past for trying to cover up shenanigans, including trying to influence other national governments. How much pull do you think they - remember, a foreign bank - will have if Trump gets in?

We'll wind up with the Trump University trial. It looks like the classic bait and switch, like Scientology, time-share condos, or used-car sales. Trump, true to his nature, is attacking the judge in the case because he has nothing else; apart from the truth, which would destroy his credibility. Overlooking the fact that Judge Curiel was born in Indiana, Trump and the Trumpanzees are screeching that he's Mexican, and therefore has a conflict of interest.

Still, not to worry!

Bill Kristol, senior editor of the National Review and famed for being Wrong about nearly everything for the past 20 years or so, has been casting about to find a "true conservative" substitute for Trump. This has been rather difficult, as most of the Usual Suspects and rejects from the Bum of the Month Club realize that they don't stand a chance in hell. Still, Kristol persevered.

And picked . . . David French.


Wasn't he Jody and Buffy's looker-after on Family Affair? No, it wasn't, you sillies; that was Giles French, played by the late Sebastian Cabot.

David French is one of the writer-editors of National Review. He's married with a family, served as an officer in Afghanistan (lawyer in a staff unit) and was awarded the Bronze Star. He's never served in a public office, nor been elected to anything. No organization, no money, no public manifesto as to his policies.

Good job, Billy, You picked another winner.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Who Gets the Bucket?

Alrighty then, it seems like a good time to see where the 2016 candidates are, now that the all-important Guam caucus is over for the Democrats (extra irony here, folks; our 'territories' are populated by US citizens and veterans, but they can only vote in primaries), Nebraska is in the win column for Trump, and West Virginia is done for both parties.

Voting in primaries will continue until June 14, so it ain't over yet, not by a thousand miles of squat, green peppermint trees.

Hillary Clinton's loss in West Virginia, again, didn't really affect her standing as the front-runner, thanks to the rather arcane 'superdelegate' math that the Democrats like. Engineered scandals and constant carping about her husband's shenanigans over twenty years ago, coupled with the futile whinging about emails, servers and Benghazi!, have eroded her poll numbers slightly against Trump.

Still, Clinton will come into the general election cycle after the conventions with a clear Electoral College advantage over any GOP nominee. Nineteen states regularly and consistently vote Democratic in the general; add only one swing state like Florida, and Hillary Clinton becomes the 45th President. That would cause much wailing and gnashing of teeth, particularly since many conservatives seem to think that having a vagina makes one ineligible (and nevermind their miserable wanking over Sarah Palin - GOP vagina-bearers don't seem to count).

Bernie Sanders' road is still the same uphill climb, but I think I see what he might be angling toward. By taking this all the way to June, even if Sanders loses the nomination, he might still be in a position to affect the Party platform for November.

Which leads me inexorably to Donald Trump. The presumptive nominee has been accepting the fealty of many in the GOP establishment and inner hierarchy, but many of the big donors are disdaining Trump in favor of casting their bread upon the downticket races.

That's not to say that Trump's being idle, oh no - right now he's trying to run away from the policy positions (now called 'suggestions') that he made last year, as well as doing his own particular brand of damage control regarding his past. To say that Trump was a lecher and a bear with women would be understating the matter, and the Party of Family values is slowly getting comfortable with a serial adulterer (after all, they're used to Newton Gingrich, go figure).

The big news recently was Trump's selection of a running mate. Ordinarily his chief fixer would be spearheading the vetting process, but Manafort's a bit tainted, having worked for various Russian oligarchs and other unsavory types. His campaign manager, Corey Lewandoski, is apparently heading up the VP selection, and there's no end of people running away from the job.


Traditionally, the Vice President balances the ticket; a nominee from the Northeast would pick someone from the West or South to broaden the appeal. Failing that, a VP is chosen to buttress areas where the President might be weak - Biden had the foreign policy chops to support Obama, for example. In other cases, the VP can become a stronger officer of state than the President - Cheney's the best example of this.

Roosevelt's running mate for his first two terms, John Nance Garner, famously said that his office was "not worth a bucket of warm piss," and you really have to have some sympathy for whoever Trump picks as his Veep. That man or woman will be the most marginalized Vice President in recent history; if he comes out of the Senate, he'll be ostracized privately. And no matter who he or she is, they'll be hampered by one important fact.

Trump will not want anyone who he thinks might try to undermine him, which will happen. He'll want a nonentity, preferably; someone he can keep under his thumb and relegated to opening bridges and attending foreign funerals.

That's where we're at right now.

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

A Right Hoosier Hosing

Or, ousTED.

Rafael Cruz stated before the Indiana primary that the Hoosier State was his 'firewall' - that is, he would pin the hopes of his flagging campaign for the GOP nomination on winning that state or, at the very least, denying Donald Trump the clean sweep he craved.

The night ended with Cruz eliminaTED, as the Senator from Alberta dropped trou, bent over, and offered Trump the time-honored anal prolapse known as the Goatse of Concession. Trump (who earlier had suggested that Cruz's father helped the man who assassinaTED John F. Kennedy) was pleased to accept it, in the manner of a baboon accepting the submissive posture offered by an inferior member of the troop.

Cruz's concession was a long-winded, bitchy-toned, and piously platitudinous pastiche of passe political prose. He then inadvertently elbowed his long-suffering and possibly abused wife Heidi in the face as he hugged her.

Carly Fiorina now holds the title of Shortest VP Pick Ever, being Cruz's losing mate for only 7 days. She did win in that category, beating out Richard Schweiker (24 days) and Tom Eagleton (18 days). I think she was trying to look a bit downcast, but all the plastic surgery and Botox have assured the Demon Sheep of a permanently creepy expression for the rest of her life.

John Kasich won only about eight percent of the vote in Indiana, and is no doubt wondering how a governor of a neighboring state with the charisma of Scott Walker and the media savvy of Tim Pawlenty could have possibly lost.

Unless Kasich bows out, he can look forward to consistently coming in fourth in a two-man race.

Donald Trump accepted the Suffering All the Way to Havana award, given to all prospective nominees who are now inevitably going to get the Great Green Weenie but must still get through the remaining primaries. It gives him time to polish his invective and flood the airwaves with constant waves of bullshit regarding the putative Democratic nominee.*

Speaking of Hillary Clinton, she lost to Bernie Sanders in Indiana, but her delegate lead is sufficient to help her weather the loss. I think, and some pundits agree, that Sanders is staying in the race all the way to June in order to make sure that his views on the issues remain heard.

So, what's up next?

There are six more primaries slated for the month of May, and California looms like a vast bowl of pus on June 7. The entire cycle will be complete with the all-important Democratic primary in the District of Columbia on June 14th.

The possibility of a contested convention in Cleveland has now withered like a clump of sphagnum moss in a blast furnace, and despite the wet dreams of the Berniebros I really doubt that we'll see anything similar in Philly. Still, there are mutterings that the RNC will decide on a third party run to fight Trump.

And the reasons for that will be the subject of another post.

*And the Media will be happy to give him the air time for free.  Trump's great for ratings, after all, and the so-called journalists of all ideological stripes are vying with the Tea Partiers in licking his made in China designer shoes.

Two in the Stink

We'll just get the technical stuff out of the way first, dear readers, before we move on to The Weird.

The primaries back on Tuesday night were a triumph for Donald Trump as he took all five of the states (Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, and the biggest prize of the night. Pennsylvania). Rafael Cruz managed a poor third in most of the states, failing to even beat John Kasich.

Which goes to show you that screeching about "Northeastern elites" and "New York values" can backfire on you just a teensy bit.

Hillary Clinton took four of the five states, with Bernie Sanders getting only Rhode Island. It's starting to get close for Bernie, and he knows it - his campaign is reportedly beginning to shed staffers, a sure-fire signal that the campaign is starting to wind down. It's good timing if Sanders is, in fact, planning on ending his run, allowing the Democrats to unify well in advance of the convention.

Even the most ardent believer must eventually acknowledge objective reality.

You won't see such bowing to reality over on the Republican side, with neither of the three candidates even thinking about getting out before the Cleveland riots - er, convention. Kasich has no way of getting close to the magic 1237 number of delegates. but is hanging on like grim death in hopes that a deadlocked convention will turn its longing eyes to him and anoint him the Nominee out of pity.

Trump, on the other pseudopod, has no such hopes. He only has to win about half of the remaining delegates to assure himself of the Great Green Weenie on the first ballot, and has publicly announced that he considers himself the presumptive nominee of the GOP.

Which thrills the Rubes, and drives home what I said on March 27, 2011:

"He's certainly got all the narcissism and delusions of grandeur necessary to be a modern politician, plus the Slave Media love him to tiny bits. Speaking of tiny bits, he's also a serial adulterer like Gingrich, a full-class Birther and able to spread a smooth layer of bullshit. I can see a theme of his campaign speeches: "Vote for a Rich Man - The Poor Man's Friend." The Tea Party will lick the soles of his designer shoes."

No less a douchebag than Charles Koch has suggested - publicly - that maybe Hillary Clinton would be a better choice than Trump.

Trump gave his first major foreign relations speech yesterday, and it was very short on details (as described by the campaign - don't want to burden The Donald's bird-like mind). One observer opined that it was very much like Trump hired a nerd to write one of his term papers for him.

The campaign not only dumbed down the content, they put it on a teleprompter (a device for which Trump routinely excoriates Obama and Clinton), so that Trump wouldn't wander off the reservation as he usually does. His delivery came off as stilted and wooden as a result. The speech itself was largely an exercise in contradictions (our allies don't think we can be relied upon, so let's leave NATO and charge them for our services, just as an example).

By far the silliest bit in a silly day came Wednesday afternoon.

Rafael Cruz chose a running mate. Yes, the guy who's getting his ass regularly beaten by Trump and whose path to the nomination is fast dwindling, decided that the best boost he could give his campaign would be to choose a Vice President three months before the convention. With the stench od desperation hanging over his campaign like a shitmist, Cruz had to be seen to Do Something.

Now, who would a man widely known as the most hated man in the US Senate choose to run alongside him? Why, simple! Someone even more unpopular than him!

Meet Carly "Destroyer of Jobs" Fiorina, folks.

Horseface broke into song at one point, which added just that final bit of Bizarro to what had been a completely mental day of As the Republican Party Turns.

What does this all mean? My take on possible outcomes:

1. Sanders will eventually bow out, probably before California.

2. Kasich will stagger into Cleveland just in time to help the janitors sweep up.

3. The Cuyahoga River will burn like the Lake of Fire as the GOP make one last demented try at stopping Trump.

4. Trump will choose Chris Christie as his VP nominee (because a New Yorker would consider that enough regional diversity to balance the ticket).

5. Rafael will take his Carly and bolt the Party, taking a solid minority with him and splitting the Republican vote.

6. Somehow, all of this will be good news for John McCain.

Who is Luca Brasi?

The New York primary is now over.

Who sleeps with the fishes today?

We start with the Democratic candidates, because alphabetical order, so there. Clinton won, with about three hundred thousand more votes than Sanders. As a result, she garnered 175 delegates to Sanders' 106, virtually erasing the gains he made from winning the previous seven races.

With a steeper hill to climb, but still hopeful as the next volley of voting is just a week away (and in hopefully good states for Sanders - Connecticut, Delaware (which has only 3 counties - 4 at low tide), Maryland (O'Malley country), Pennsylvania, and the biggest prize of all, Rhode Island), Bernie went up to Vermont to take a day off and recover from the grueling pace. I expect Hillary to do the same.

The Republicans face the same states on April 26th, but yay howdy, the New York voting was FUN. A few highlights:

1. Trump swept practically the entire state, only losing his home county to . . . John Kasich.

2. As a result of the voting, Trump got a swollen nut of 89 delegates, and Kasich got 3.

3. Cruz got exactly shit. In fact, a couple of districts in Westchester County actually gave Ben Carson more votes than they gave Cruz. If only Carson had been awake to see it . . .

Trump now has about 845 delegates, provided that his Chief Fixer can lock them all in on time. For Cruz, the road just got tougher and the GOP establishment must be wishing they could have stuffed Trump in a bag and tossed him into the East River last year.


Still, the convention in Cleveland might be good for a few laughs and many more shenanigans. Some of the Idiot Wing have started squealing that they want the RNC to trash their rules on procedure and adopt Robert's Rules of Order.

Hoo boy, that'd be fun. Can you imagine how much the works would get gummed up if all of the delegates on the floor can interrupt the Chair and force changes to everything? Especially with all the 'Sovereign Citizen' types that just LOVE to squawk about the tiniest arcane twist of English vocabulary?

Give you a little hint. Back in 1972, the Democratic Convention in Miami ran over for so long as this person and that person took over the podium for meaningless shit that McGovern didn't give what many people thought was the greatest speech of his life until after 1 AM, after everyone at home had gone to bed, TV sets were showing test patterns, and most of the delegates were wallowing in a Behavioral Sink.

With twenty-four hour news feeds and social media, we probably won't miss the speeches from Cleveland. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing remains to be seen.

Arcana Imperii

Or, How Trump Got His Butthurt On.

Colorado, along with a handful of other states and territories, does not hold a caucus or a primary to determine how many delegates go to which GOP candidates. Instead, the Colorado Republican Party started voting on delegates at the State Party Convention, which was held last weekend.

Here's how it worked (brace yourselves, it's gonna get NUTS):

Colorado has seven Congressional districts, and there are three delegates chosen for each. That's 21 so far. They also get to select another 13 statewide delegates.

With me so far?

So on Saturday about 8,000 Party faithful gathered to listen to 600+ delegate candidates speak (for 20 seconds each) in an effort to convince said Party faithful to make them a delegate. After the gabfest, it's time to vote, yay!

In this kind of foofaraw, fortune favors whoever has the best organization and the best ground game. For good or bad, that was Senator Rafael Cruz who toted away with all the delegates, leaving none for Donald (t)Rump and John Kasich(who?).

It wasn't a good weekend for Trumpy. His organization was a bit slipshod - many ballot lists were incorrect and new ones had to be xeroxed on the fly (and still contained errors). So you might expect that he dusted himself off, straightened his tie, basked in the fact that he still has a huge lead in delegates, and move on, right?

Come on. We're talking about Donald Trump here, dear readers.

Trump failed to make an appearance at any of the Sunday chat shows for the first time in about four months, leaving it to his Chief Fixer to blather on about 'irregularities' and 'Gestapo tactics' perpetrated by the Cruz campaign, up to and including alleging that the 8000 or so in Colorado had been threatened by the Cruzites.

There may, in fact, be something to this, but it's rather telling that in other states where Trump lost because of a sloppy ground game (Wisconsin, Louisiana) he and his staff started accusing other campaigns of dirty tricks. In fact, he's suing the Louisiana GOP. Just what we need; more frivolous lawsuits.

Now we hear that two of Trump's kids, the rancid fruit of his loins, failed to register to vote on time. They won't be able to vote for Big Daddy in the New York primary, which ought to make the next family get-together a lot of fun if Trump loses in New York.


Caucuses are not primaries; of the two caucuses are the least democratic.

In a primary, you go in and vote. In a caucus, you sit around and talk with people for a preset time limit - sort of like speed dating without having to buy dinner - at just be at a certain table at a certain time to get counted.

Name recognition seems to have the best chance here. Former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore only got 12 votes in the Iowa caucus - eh? What's that? You never heard of Jim Gilmore, and didn't know he'd run for the GOP Presidential nomination? That's okay, neither did anyone else, it appears.

Clinton won in Iowa where the tall corn grows, and Sanders seems to do well in the western caucus states. Case in point: Wyoming, where he vacuumed up all the delegates.

This still leaves him lagging behind Clinton, and with a statistically reachable but still very hard goal in order to get the Great Green Weenie.

Clinton's task is a bit tougher, particularly because of her husband's predilection for occasionally letting his mouth override his ass.

Still, New York looms, with 291 Democratic and 95 Republican delegates at stake.

We shall see.

You Want Cheese with that Whine?

Or, the Wisconsin primaries.

Wisconsin has a long history of progressivism and a long history of supporting progressive politicians like 'Fighting Bob' La Follette. I imagine Fighting Bob must be fighting to climb out of his grave to fix the damage done to the Badger State by the hideous derp-faced abomination known as Scott Walker.

But we're not here to talk about Walker, who tried for the Presidency and had his ass handed to him:

Gentle readers, the contest in Wisconsin (Go Packers!) was much anticipated, and there were many questions going in. Would Bernie Sanders beat Hillary Clinton? Would a Sanders win affect the delegate count? Would Ted Cruz beat Donald Trump? Would John Kasich have any relevance at all? Who the fuck cares about John Kasich anyway?

Last night, the results came in.

Sanders beat Clinton by a thirteen-point margin, but it won't do much to pull him even with her according to the analysts. Clinton won two counties bordering Minnesota and is leading in Milwaukee. Cruz, on the other hand, beat Trump by the same margin, taking all three major cities in Wisconsin and leaving the rural counties to Trump. Kasich managed to eke out fourteen percent of the vote, and got zero delegates.

With only 143 pledged delegates, Kasich's pipe dream of becoming a kingmaker at the RNC convention in Cleveland is swiftly fading away.

Still, Cruz got 33 delegates, and is closing in on Trump. The prospect of a brokered (or 'open') convention in July is increasing. One oddsmaker calculates that there's now a 71% chance of all hell breaking loose, and Trump supporter Roger Stone is calling for violent mobs to enact a Days of Rage thing to pressure the convention into making Trump the nominee.

Trump will have to win most of the remaining states by wide margins in order to get the Great Green Weenie on the first ballot. Otherwise, we'll see this

As the Republican Party drops a hefty Cleveland Steamer on all of us.

Getting There, the Long Way Around

March, it has been said, goes in like a lion and comes out like a lamb. Well, gentle readers, get the mint jelly handy, because in this political season that's pretty much what has happened.

The month's primaries and caucuses ended with a trifecta of caucusi in Washington state, Hawai'i, and Alaska. They were all Democratic contests, and Bernie Sanders won all of them. Now, this could prove that sparrows can make just as good feathered omina as eagles in presaging victory, or it may just help (again) to prove that the caucus system is undemocratic and favors those candidates whose supporters want to show up and spend several hours just nattering away.

The delegate disparity between Sanders and Clinton wasn't affected much by the triple win, but the New York primary is still in the offing, so we'll see if momentum is favoring the underdog right now.

After Stupor Tuesday, the remaining candidates straggled into Arizona, and promptly had their rainbow shades and hobo shoes stolen by Clinton and Trump, who won the primary votes there. The Arizona primary was marked by incredibly long lines and lack of ballots (some waited on line so long they ordered pizza). A supervisor of elections there at first blamed the voters for not taking advantage of mail-in or early voting, then backtracked that and conceded that cutting (in one county) 200 polling venues down to 60 to "save money" might have been a teensy mistake.

Another pair of caucuses, in Idaho and Utah, were won by Sanders and Rafael Cruz.

Which brings me, dear readers, to the Great Kerfuffle.

In Utah, a pro-Cruz political action committee posted up a picture of Melania Trump from GQ Magazine, showing her nakedity and asking the poor sex-crazed Mormons and Fundies of Utah if she was what they wanted to be First Lady.

Now, it's good to recall at this juncture that Donald Trump takes any criticism as a personal attack, and responds like a petulant child. True to his nature, he immediately countered by implying that Cruz's wife was ugly, and then the National Enquirer started braying about Cruz having affairs with five other women not his wife.

(I will pause while you try to efface that image from your minds.)

My only question at this point is "When do the 'Yo Mama' jokes start?"

So, March Madness is over, but the Long March continues because we still have three more months of this tripe.

After June 14th, we'll see who gets the Suffering All The Way To Havana Award, and whether the entire RNC Politburo must drop their trousers, bend over, and offer the Goatse of Concession to Donald Trump.*

*By the way: At the last Party Convention in 2012, a rule was approved over the loud protests of the Ron Paul supporters. The rule, which may still be in effect, allows the Politburo to change any bit of the Party rules or platform after they were carved in Florida coquina in Tampa that summer. I mention this only because Certain Elements in the hierarchy may still be plotting to run a blazer on The Wig. Better stock up on popcorn.

Sifting the Ashes

Good day, dear readers. I hope you have your Haz-Mat suits on.


Okay, let's go.

Now that Bernie Sanders has taken the suspense out of the Missouri Democratic Primary by conceding that race to Hillary Clinton (they split the delegates more or less evenly, with Clinton getting one more than Sanders because she was leading, so there), we can analyze the entire result of Stupor Tuesday.

Democrats first, because alphabetical order. Clinton scored a sweep of the five state races on Tuesday, hiking up her delegate count and making it that much harder for Sanders. Still, Sanders is in it to win it, so expect more polite discussions about actual, substantive policies - much to the chagrin of the news media, who will no doubt send out lorarii to goad them into fighting each other.

Now, onward to the Republicans. We begin with the biggest news of the night:


Little Boots, a/k/a Marco Rubio, Senator of Florida, graciously conceded to the Trump and his Trumpanzees after failing to win his home state of Florida. "Failed to win his home state," what am I saying? The stupid little brain-addled shithead managed to carry his home county, and nothing else in the Sunshine State. All in all, it was a humiliating defeat, and if you had 'humiliating' as your keyword for a drinking game that night, you're likely still in the hospital, recovering from your alcoholic coma.

Rafael Cruz continued to nibble at Trump's heels, coming in a solid second in Illinois, Missouri and North Carolina. Hey, Rafael! Do you know what else is called Number Two?


That's you.

The second-biggest news came out of Ohio. You know, the state whose name is high in the middle and round on both ends?

And John Kasich had to be high as a goddam kite on something as he acknowledged the plaudits of his followers following his win of his home state. By winning Ohio, he manages to stay in the race for a while longer, and it makes it a bit harder for Trump to get a clear path to the Great Green Weenie of Nomination.

Of course, Kasich also pulled the very long bow by saying that he was going to win the nomination in Cleveland.

Yeah, right.

One analyst opined that The Reverse Mullet will have to win at least 60% of the remaining races to hit the magic number.

Which leads me to Donald Trump.

The Rude Pundit and Maestro Driftglass have already said it, and far more trenchantly than I could, so I'll content myself with a few points:

1. The odds of Trump winning the Great Green Weenie are very close to 90% at this time, within a 10% margin of error (this is because we still have half the country yet to vote). If he hits the magic number, he gets the coveted Suffering All the Way to Havana Award.

2. Trump's inflammatory, if not incendiary rhetoric has fomented violence against the people who stand up and say stuff that the Trumpanzees don't want to hear. Trump's lying through his fucking teeth when he says there's been "no violence" at his rallies.

3. Trump's assertion that there'll be 'riots' in Cleveland if he doesn't get the nomination is mighty damned close to incitement.

There's two more rounds of voting to close out this month, and then we have April, May and June to deal with.

The decontamination showers are over there, and remember to clean your suits out before you leave.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

March Madness

And no, I'm not referring to the NCAA Basketball Championships.

Today is Super Tuesday, the opening salvo in a month-long barrage of primaries and caucuses (caucusi?) that will help determine who gets the Great Green Weenie of Nomination for the Democratic and Republican Parties.

And, of course, who will have to bow to reality, bend over, and display the Goatse of Concession.

There are fourteen contests today, stretching across the continent from Massachusetts to Alaska, with another five on March 5th, two on March 6th, four on March 8th, three on March 12th, six on March 15 (including Florida), one on March 19 (the all-important Virgin Islands), four on March 22nd and three to wrap up the month on March 26th. And that's just the month of March, dear readers.

There's a reason for this hideous shitstorm - the two parties' national committees decided to do this in order to make it a bit easier for a clear front-runner to gain an advantage going into the convention. The Democrats set this up after the long and brutal primary contest between Clinton and Obama in 2008, and the GOP set theirs up following the debacle of 2012, when Mittens suffered all the way to Havana (or, in this case, Tampa).

So let's look at the choices we have, shall we? I'll start with the Democrats.

Hilary Clinton's got the most delegates going into the month, and I'm not counting the superdelegates in this. However, many of the contests for the Dems are not winner-take-all; they're proportional, so even if she wins, she won't get all of the state's delegates. However, she's hit the airwaves in eleven of the Super Tuesday states and, as South Carolina's polling indicated, she has a bit of an impact.

Bernie Sanders is only airing ads in five states, but he thinks he's in with a chance there, and might be able to leech delegates away from Clinton in the other races. Sanders has a lot of money from small contributors, so expect him to stay in it for at least this month.

The Republican national chairman, Pubic Rinse - er, Reince Priebus - is faced with a no-win scenario: None of the candidates are much good, all of them espouse radical ideas that most Americans wouldn't support, and the current front-runner is a demagogue who disturbs a lot of the GOP.

Ben Carson doubled down on his grift with an op-ed where he again stated that as long as people keep sending him money he'll stay in. Right now, with him polling behind ear mites, it doesn't matter if he stays in or not - he's just putting himself in a good position for a Fox News contributor's spot (the eventual Happy Hunting Ground of all failed GOP candidates).

Rafael Cruz continues to blather on about God and Jesus have anointed him the President already, even though the evangelicals in South Carolina voted for Trump.

John Kasich has said that he "might consider" bailing out of the race if he fails to carry his home state of Ohio on March 15th. This marks the first time he's said something rational. Trying to position himself as a 'moderate' and 'reasonable' candidate sort of limps when you defund Planned Parenthood in your state, you douche.

Speaking of douches, Marco Rubio has elevated the GOP contest to Middle School Boy's Locker Room (from shit-flinging howler monkeys - hey, it's a step up) by implying that Trump's small hands mean that he has a small penis. It's either a mark of desperation, or an insight into Rubio's actual level of maturity. News flash, Marco - you aren't expected to win shit today, and are polling behind Trump in your home state (Florida; pray for her redemption).

Which leaves me with Donald Trump. Yeah. Unholy Cthulhu, take me now. Where do I start? Trump's a carnival barker, and Cruz might have a point when he hints that Trump might have ties to The Mob. He blusters, swears, advocates violence at his rallies, talks blithely about having the military commit war crimes ("taking out ISIS' families"), thinks torture's a good idea, and when you can finally pin him down on a specific policy proposal, it's 100% pure shit and he changes it within fifteen minutes anyway. Having him in charge of the armed might of the United States should terrify everyone, because he's already hinted that the Congress won't dare tell him what to do. He has proposed doing away with the shield law that protects journalistic sources and taking other steps that would effectively muzzle the press.

I vote in the Florida primary as a registered Republican, so I have to choose one of these assholes - a wimp, a hypocrite, a messianic asshole, and the reincarnation of Buzz Windrip. Decisions, decisions . . .

Now do you see why I call this "March Madness?"

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Jeb! Bush: The Towel Boy at the Orgy

The Deal Goes Down . . . High Stakes in the Silver State . . . South Carolina: The Lost Cause Revixit . . . And Then There Were . . .

Sure Iowa and New Hampshire were fun, dear readers, but one must recall that demographically they were not a good cross-section of the American population. 

Nevada and South Carolina, on the other hand, are more representative, so they're an important proving ground before we stumble into the March Madness. 

No, I'm not talking about the NCAA Basketball Champeenships.  There are a huge ("YOOGE!") number of primaries and caucuses next month, with a massive, swollen nut of delegates just waiting to spew out to the gratification of the candidate who rubs them the right way.

To quote Deadpool, "Time to make the chimi-fucking-changas."

We start out in Nevada, where the Democrats had a caucus to determine who got the most delegates.  The idea here is that whoever wins gets the lion's share, but the loser also gets a few.  Being the state that features Reno, Las Vegas and legal prostitution, a lot of weirdness happened.  That included the appearance of a group calling themselves Hookers for Hillary, which is kind of amusing when you think about it.

When the dust settled, Clinton had received a majority of the vote, and thus a majority of the delegates.  Sanders was gracious in defeat, although some of supporters were so gauche as to shout "English Only!" when someone tried to give a Spanish translation of Clinton's speech.  Stay classy, kids.

The Democrats now take their show to South Carolina, where the Republicans had their primary yesterday.  The GOP will caucus in Nevada next week.

Hoo boy, South Carolina.  The state that started the Civil War has a number of really Interesting People living in it; polls indicated that a number of GOP voters wanted the Treason Flag back up, while others thought that being a bunch of losing losers who lost 151 years ago merited a mulligan.

A lot of overheated rhetoric was thrown about, Pope Francis was yelled at, and various ethnic minorities were denigrated in an effort to advance one agenda or another.

Six little candidates, all quite alive,
South Carolina, and then there were five.

With about one percent (one percent!) of the precincts reporting after the polls closed, the major press outlets called the race for Trump, which was a surprise.  The Conventional Wisdom said that Trump would have trouble in the Palmetto State, because the religious population would be harder to appeal to.

However, Reality told the Conventional Wisdom to go pound sand, as even the religious population (what one GOP staffer helpfully called 'whackos' back in 2008) loved The Donald's anti-immigration stance and his blunt, vulgar style.  Not even Rafael Cruz could match up to him, and Rafael was campaigning as the one candidate who had been anointed by God and chosen personally by Jesus Christ to be President.

But the nut got cut, and it was Trump getting the gold medal, with Marco Rubio coming in at the silver (one hopes they've fixed that glitch he had).  Cruz managed the bronze medal, with only about 0.2% separating him from Rubio; so close, in fact, that you couldn't get a melon between them.

That leaves the guys who missed a podium finish.

John Kasich tried to position himself as the Sane Alternative, but the voters didn't want sane this cycle, they wanted bullshit, lies, and cheap demagoguery, and got it in spades.  Kasich came in at fifth place, with Dr. Ben Carson (who's admitted that it's all about the grift; as long as people send him money, he'll keep running) at sixth.

Which brings me to the most pathetic Loser McLoserton of the 2016 Presidential Campaign, John Ellis Bush.

The GOP Establishment had such high hopes for Bush, but he started to bumble even before the Iowa contest.  By the time he staggered into South Carolina, blood dripping from the thousand cuts inflicted on him by Donald Trump, not even a tweet showing a personalized firearm could help him - in fact, his press office had to tell people that no, Bush was NOT planning on shooting himself if he lost.

Bush came in a sick fourth behind the three tossers who made it to the winner's podium, and finally did what a lot of people thought he'd do before the primary (and I thought he'd do after losing Florida), 'suspending' his campaign.  The signs of rot were there before the voting started, with senior staff sending out resumes and major donors no longer taking his calls. 

He finally learned when to pull the plug, and somewhere Michael Schiavo must have said, "About time, asshole."

So now the GOP go to Nevada, and the Dems to South Carolina. 

The Long March continues.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

New Hampshire: Withering Heights

Okay, the first actual primary (as opposed to the Iowa caucus, which was composed mainly of people sitting in auditoria and arguing) in the 2016 Presidential election is in the can, and let’s take a look at what the hell happened, shall we?  

Don’t look at me like that.  It’s Ash Wednesday, penance is required.  So there.

We’ll go all alphabetical up in this bitch, so we’ll start with the Democrats.

Hilary Clinton had her ass handed to her by Bernie Sanders last night, which wasn’t a really big surprise.  If anything, her showing in the Granite State has exposed weak points in her campaign structure and strategy, and it appears early enough to make adjustments.

Bernie Sanders – well, what can I say?  A self-identified ‘Democratic Socialist’ won the primary and it marks a milestone, which I’ll get to soon.  Based on polling, two out of every three of New Hampshire’s notoriously independent voters plumped for Sanders, with the rest going to Trump.  Sanders was also a next-door neighbor to the voters, and they could identify with him.

Looking ahead, it must be recalled that neither Iowa nor New Hampshire represent a true cross-section of the American electorate, and the campaigns are now headed west to Nevada and south to South Carolina (the next contests before Super Tuesday).  Clinton may have a broader appeal among Hispanics and African-Americans, and that may counter Sanders’ grip on younger white voters. 

By the way, Sanders is the first Jew to win a Presidential primary election.  If you think you heard a lot of racist shit from 2008 to now regarding Obama, you haven’t heard anything yet.  And if you haven’t heard it, you need to unblock your ears.

Now we check on the Republican field, and once again we shall get all alphabetic up in here.

John Ellis Bush came in . . . fourth, which isn’t even worthy of a bronze medal.  One pundit suggested that Bush was taking the karmic hits meant for his brother.  I disagree; I think that Bush felt that he was the Great Hope of the GOP and that voters would flock to the idea of a third Bush Presidency.  The rise of Trump and Cruz has confused him, that much is obvious.  He’s staggering now, limping painfully on two broken kneecaps to South Carolina.  He’ll feel a bit more comfortable there, and his brother is taping ads for him.  We’ll see how that works for him.

Ben Carson admitted yesterday that his campaign’s all about the Benjamins, saying that as long as people keep sending him money he’ll keep running.  Grifters gotta grift, am I right?

Chris Christie went back to New Jersey, saying that he needed to “take a deep breath” and determine what to do about his race.  Here’s a tip, Governor – things are going to get worse the longer you stay in the race, so it might be better for all concerned if you just sit on the beach near Barnegat Lighthouse and watch the waves for a while.  He hasn’t dropped out of the race yet, but the clock’s counting down fast.

Rafael Cruz came in third in New Hampshire, and is moving forward to the upcoming races.  He’s got a lot of money, and his rantings draw large crowds of people.  There are still allegations that his campaign tried to skew the Iowa vote by bruiting it about that Carson had dropped out of the race.  He and Carson are supposed to meet up in New Jersey to bury the hatchet.  Better watch it, Rafael – Ben’s good with a scalpel, and ask any number of gangsters about what happens in Jersey.  Expect his ravings to become even more mean-spirited and messianic the further south he gets.

Carly Fiorina has dropped out of the race after garnering zero delegates in two races, and having the general cachet as a lump of cold vomit.  She can’t understand how running a campaign on her destruction of Hewlett-Packard could fail to attract more votes – job destruction is a conservative meme, after all.

Jim Gilmore continues to run.  No one knows why.

John Kasich, Governor of Ohio.  He came in second in New Hampshire, where Trump beat him by a two to one margin.  That qualifies as “being beaten like a rented mule,” by the way.  Kasich has said many unhinged and stupid things so far in the campaign, notably his idea to form a Cabinet-level Department of Judeo-Christian Values to spread said values among the godless heathens of the world (read: Islam), but he comes across as low-key and generally more polite than Cruz and Trump.  So, by contrast, he was ‘better.’

Marco Rubio, Boy Wonder, Apple of David Brooks’ Eye, Savior of the GOP Establishment.  Came in fifth, and really didn’t do himself any favors by repeating the same talking point four times in the last debate before the primary vote.  Apart from giving comedians, Christie, and protesters much material to make merry with, Rubio came across as a flailing neophyte.  Allies of his have stated that he tends to panic under stress – just the kind of guy you want with his finger on The Button, right?  Right?  Bueller?

And that leaves me with Donald Trump.  Trump knocked it out of the park last night, and is now in the race to stay.  A loss in NH would have had him seriously considering his options, but now he senses weakness and he’ll have the big knives out when he gets to South Carolina.  His racist xenophobia will find a ready and receptive audience in the South, trust me on this one.  The day after his win, he opened his gaping piehole to spew a few ‘policy’ ideas, notably somehow inducing China to make Kim Jong Un “disappear” (no idea what he means by that, but usual usage implies murder).

So there you have it, dear readers.  The orgy of Downers and Treachery known as the 2016 Campaign continues, and it won’t stop until November.  Better buckle up, strap down, and keep that lube handy – we’re all going to need it.