blueollie

Debate remarks: Fox News moderator, Trumps “middle finger”, Political Correctness, etc.

Debate wrap up:

Fireworks: Trump vs. Kelly

Christie vs. Paul

I disagree with this New York Times assessment. Bush did well by not screwing up and Trump did well by giving the “middle finger” to the “establishment” and to “political correctness”. Trump actually showed some political savvy. It was up to the other candidates to shine.

Kasich: maybe came across as “sensible” but this debate was really more for the GOP base. Cruz did nothing to distinguish himself. Carson was terrible, and Huckabee appeared to be interviewing for “first minister” I’d say that Rubio and Fiorina (first debate) helped themselves the most whereas Bush and Trump (and perhaps Walker) “held serve”.

Here is what struck me as odd: in previous elections, the debate seemed to be about the “establishment candidate” with some “fringe candidate” attempting to break out. Here, this debate was more centered on the fringe candidate (Trump) vs. “which one will be the not-Trump”; the fringe appears to be in control.

And notice that no one on stage paid any attention to Bernie Sanders at all, save one remark by Jindal in the JV session.

The Fox News moderators did frame the debate via current Republican orthodoxy. There wasn’t quite as much “Reagan worship” as there had been in past GOP debates (time marches on?), Benghazi wasn’t repeatedly brought up and the “repeal Obamacare” stuff appeared to be half-hearted.

I’ll talk about Trump’s attack on “political correctness” at a later time; I do think that is an issue.

August 7, 2015 Posted by | politics, republicans, republicans political/social | , | 1 Comment

Republican Debate: main event. Winner: Fiorina (from the first event)

Biggest fireworks: Christy vs. Paul.
Who flopped: Carson; he looked as if he were in way over his head.
Bland: Walker, Bush, Cruz
Well spoken (if nutty): Rubio
Bombastic: Trump
Going the way of Huntsman: Kasich.
Evangelical nut job who doesn’t understand science nor technology (B-52): Huckabee.

My take: Carson drops, Fiorina rises.
Bush: if we weren’t at the front of the “not Trump” I wouldn’t say that he did all that well. He didn’t look like an idiot so that may have been a win for him.
Rubio: most “serious energetic” presence up there.

Trump: as expected, combative, unapologetic, and probably holds his position.

Who emerges?

Bernie Sanders wasn’t mentioned once (or was he?)

I do notice that none of the other candidates called out Trump defending is horrible comments about other women.

I’d have to say that the Clinton campaign was smiling.

August 7, 2015 Posted by | politics, politics/social, republicans | , | Leave a comment

Republican debate: the JV session

This was a bit like watching one of those “pre-Christmas” bowl games or a CIT/CBI tournament game.

CLwcQ6FWEAAXxks

So how did it go? My take: the winner(s) were Jeb Bush and Scott Walker. There is nothing for these guys to fear from this group.

Carly Fiorina did the best job of not merely repeating tired slogans, though I wouldn’t say that she jumped out as someone who will break into double digits in the polls.

My quick summary: all don’t like President Obama and will “undo” Obamacare, his immigration executive order, undo the Iran deal, defund Planned Parenthood, etc.

Lindsey Graham: attacked both Bill and Hillary Clinton and was the war monger of the group. Back him if you want more US troops in the Middle East.
Rick Perry: TEXAS, TEXAS, I secured the border, poached jobs, and seemed to imply that Donald Trump was relying on mere celebrity.
Rick Santorum: didn’t disappoint. Was unaware that illegal immigrants can’t vote (said Obama wanted them here for votes) and compared the SCOTUS decision on gay marriage to Dred Scott; called the SCOTUS “rogue”.
Bobby Jindal: still couldn’t explain why he trailed Hillary Clinton in the polls in his own home state.
James Gilmore: why was he even there?
George Pataki: tried to impress that he governed a blue state. Don’t know why he thinks that he has a chance.
Carly Fiorina: probably the best spoken of the bunch, but mostly attacked Hillary Clinton and attacked Donald Trump for his support of single payer and his support of the Clintons.

There were a few obligatory comparisons to Ronald Reagan.

Bernie Sanders was mentioned by Bobby Jindal and praised for “at least being honest about being a socialist”…but this was only a foil to attack Hillary Clinton.

I honestly don’t see how any of these candidates will last much longer though perhaps Fiorina can slip into the top 10..and maybe Graham’s war mongering might get him past 1 percent? :-)

gopjvdebate

August 7, 2015 Posted by | 2016, republican party, republicans, republicans politics | , | Leave a comment

Republican Debate: preview

How I see the race right now:

Elephant___Donkey_2016ColorWeb

I’ll probably watch both the JV session and the varsity session.

Key words, phrases, concepts:

President Obama has been a disaster
President Obama: most divisive President in US history
Recover from Obama
Hillary = Obama’s third term
Obamacare is a train wreck
Hillary and e-mail
Hillary and Benghazi
Hillary and “What difference does it make”
Leadership abroad
Nuclear Iran
Race baiting
Thugs
Entitlement society
Repeal Obamacare
God
Ronald Reagan
Reform social security
Reform Medicare
Get government off of our backs!
Tax cuts for ALL Americans
“free stuff”
Moocher class
Takers not makers
47 percent
Socialist
All lives matter
Illegal Immigrants
English only
guns, guns, guns

Ultimately, who will win the debate? (either one)

In my opinion:
madamepresident

August 6, 2015 Posted by | 2016, politics, republicans, republicans politics | , | Leave a comment

Presidents: past and future, rain, libraries and currency…

Local: yes, it has rained in buckets here. Now only has this past June been the second wettest month on record for Illinois (last time was 1926!) but it was the wettest June in the whole country.

Yes, I’ve always thought that President Carter was underrated, though he did make a mistake by alienating potential allies. I liked his programs, but he seemed to go out of his way to attack liberals.

Now that the 2016 primary season is easing into starting, Hillary Clinton is being attacked from the left…and many of these attacks are coming from the Republicans. Basically, they see Sen. Sanders as being easier to beat (and he would be) so they want to prop him up as much as possible.

And yes, I made my first donation to the Clinton campaign.

Libraries Yes, they are going an transition in this digital age. I admit that I don’t use them very much, except for the electronic databases. Why? I tend to buy the books that I read..even after the fact!

Relationships: this is an excellent TED talk on infidelity. Sometimes affairs (whatever type) defy logic. However I have some confusion as to what constitutes an affair. Sure, physical sex and sex related activity (Bill Clinton stuff) and Anthony Wiener stuff (sexting) qualify. But is that it?

I also think that it is tough to see where you are wrong. Seeing my social media feed has been eyeopening; it seems as if many have a “I am the only sane one; the rest of the world is screwed up” attitude, which is satirized in this Pearls Before Swine cartoon.

pb150709ratperfect

Click on the thumbnail to read the cartoon at the official site.

Fun riddle (hetero guys will have trouble):

I joked that I let her in line in front of me (at a local store). How do you know that is not true?

i-would-be-so-happy

(click on the thumbnail to see the photo at the source)

July 9, 2015 Posted by | 2016, politics, politics/social, relationships, republicans, republicans politics, social/political | , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Bristol Palin, the right wing and soaking the rich..

Well, it came out that Bristol Palin is pregnant:

After she became a teenage mother in 2008, Bristol Palin vowed that she would not have sex again until she was married. She went on to become an abstinence advocate and made hundreds of thousands of dollars preaching to girls about not having premarital sex.

In 2011, when she was 20, Palin made $262,000 as an abstinence ambassador for The Candie’s Foundation, the Associated Press reported, citing tax documents. A total amount earned over the years has not been revealed.

262,000 dollars? Remember, the Candie foundation is supposed to oppose this sort of thing. Oh sure, the message was more nuanced than “abstinence only”, and of course the conservatives are screaming bloody murder about the evil left pointing out that “abstinence only” doesn’t work and pointing out that many conservatives have zero problems judging OTHER women when they do this to themselves.

But hypocrisy from National Review is nothing new, but that isn’t the point of this post.

The point is: 262,000 dollars for THIS?

This reminded me of something Paul Krugman wrote a few days prior to the 2012 election.

Krugman pointed out that if one subscribes to conservative “news” organizations (say, NewsMax or Dick Morris.com, or the feed of some conservative politicians), one gets bombarded with messages about buying gold, scam investments or quack health products. Here is an example:

dickmorris

He then pointed out that Karl Rove was peddling ridiculous ideas to wealthy Republicans such as “Minnesota is winnable” if only they’d pony up more money for ads…more money for Karl Rove.

He goes on:

Well, what if we’ve been misunderstanding Rove? We’ve been seeing him as a man dedicated to helping angry right-wing billionaires take over America. But maybe he’s best thought of instead as an entrepreneur in the business of selling his services to angry right-wing billionaires, who believe that he can help them take over America. It’s not the same thing.

And while Rove the crusader is looking — provisionally, of course, until the votes are in — like a failure, Rove the businessman has just had an amazing, banner year.

What’s more, this makes sense of the embarrassing Rove “we’re winning! trust me!” piece in the WSJ, especially notable because — as Sam Wang recalls — Rove so famously declared that he had THE MATH just before the GOP debacle in 2006. It’s hard to think of any good reason to pretend that Romney has it in the bag — unless that pretense gets you one last big slug of business before Election Day.

OK, this is just speculation. Maybe Rove is really a selfless true believer, his actions untainted by self-interest. Still, it’s kind of an interesting perspective.

Remember: Krugman wrote this a few days PRIOR to the 2012 election, back when we were hearing all of that BS about it being close (and I was sure that it wasn’t).

So, in that sense, maybe Bristol and the other Palin family members are cut from the same cloth? Think about it: Sarah Palin kept making noise about “maybe she should run”…but clearly doesn’t have the stomach for it.

That also makes me wonder about the oversized Republican field: how many of them are serious, and how many just want to make some money off of it?

July 2, 2015 Posted by | republicans, republicans politics, social/political | , | Leave a comment

A day without rain?

Walked to the W. Peoria track; did 5 laps (2.1 miles) of drills, quick step, focus on push-off (27:43) and then walked back home and did a little bit of yoga.

Call it 3+ miles, which is good enough for today.

We’ve had quite a bit of rain lately but none last night; so the track (paved asphalt) was mostly dry.

Sports
Hmm, it appears as if the University of Texas athletic director is alienating fans, alumni, coaches, faculty and…the college president?

Social/Political

Lindsey Graham:

Sorry, but most everything I’ve read has the murderer being a white supremacist of some sort. But it appears to me that conservatives are tip-toeing around the idea that racial bigotry was a driving factor.

June 19, 2015 Posted by | racism, republicans, social/political, walking | , | Leave a comment

Journalists not understanding politics

One outlet says this:

attack

So what was this “attack”?

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: How are you even gonna get into the pole position right now? I mean, Bernie Sanders– taken out a lotta the same progressive positions you have– has kind of shot up– in both the national polls and– and Iowa and New Hampshire the last– few weeks. Is– that’s a challenge to your candidacy.

GOVERNOR O’MALLEY: Well, I think it’s an encouragement to my candidacy, and for this reason. I think that– the public is looking for new leadership, leadership that doesn’t apologize for having progressive values.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: –why should progressive voters pick you over Bernie Sanders?

GOVERNOR O’MALLEY: Because I have a track record of actually getting things done, not just talking about things.

THAT was ugly? Please. This was nothing more that the classic “Governor vs. Senator” rhetoric that has been going on since we’ve had primaries. There is nothing to see here.

Mike Huckabee’s joke Yes, Mike Huckabee made the old “I with I would have pretended to be a girl so I could have showered with them” joke. That is not new; nor is it particularly offensive to me.

But many are having vapors over this:

The political mind of former Arkansas governor and 2016 Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee must be a very interesting place — a place that looks and feels a lot like 2004.

BuzzFeed spotted a video of Huckabee’s February address at the 2015 National Religious Broadcasters Convention in Nashville, Tenn. The video was posted online this weekend by World Net Daily. In it, Huckabee shared some thoughts on transgender Americans.

“Now I wish that someone told me that when I was in high school that I could have felt like a woman when it came time to take showers in PE,” said Huckabee. “I’m pretty sure that I would have found my feminine side and said, ‘Coach, I think I’d rather shower with the girls today.’ You’re laughing because it sounds so ridiculous doesn’t it?”

For most people, Huckabee’s comments seem a little out of date, perhaps even bigoted. This is a country in which a gold-medal-winning Olympian and one-time mascot of American masculinity just revealed that he is a transgender Republican, and then posed for the cover of Vanity Fair to share a new name, Caitlyn Jenner, along with a new gender identity and personal story.

Newsflash: Gov. Huckabee is running in the Republican primary and is openly targeting the elderly voter (witness his positions of Medicare and Social Security, which have put him to the left of his party and drawn the ire of his fellow Republicans)

Folks: the world of the Republican party is not an oversensitive college campus. :-)

June 3, 2015 Posted by | 2016, political/social, politics, republicans | , | Leave a comment

Some political reality

If we listen to the detractors, EVERYONE hates President Obama.

But what is reality? If one looks at the cold, hard facts, President Obama’s approval ratings:

1. Track very well with the historical ratings of previous presidents (who have served two terms)

2. Are well above those of President Bush (at this point in his presidency) but below what President Clinton’s were. President Reagan had better ratings for much of his presidency but, at this point, his approval ratings were similar to President Obama’s (remember Iran-Contra)

obamaapprovalmay2015

Dotted line: average of all presidents. Light green: President Obama. Dark green: President Bush.

Screen shot 2015-05-24 at 5.13.45 PM

Again, light green is President Obama, darkest green is President Reagan (with the big dip); the middle green (and highest ratings) is President Clinton.

From here

Now the Republicans turn their sights on the 2016 elections. Yes, some are bloviating about the instability in Iraq (President Bush left a stable situation!) evidently forgetting that the Status of Forces agreement to get the US out of Iraq was negotiated with Iraq by President Bush. Yes, the region was more stable with us there, but were we to stay there in perpetuity?

Please.

May 24, 2015 Posted by | 2016, Barack Obama, political/social, politics, republicans, republicans politics, world events | , , , | Leave a comment

Semester is over and I opine on politics, Fox News, etc.

Politics and Social Issues

Yes, President Obama called out Fox News for distorting the debate about poverty:

Of course, Fox News complained (and probably grinned ear to ear, enjoying a viewer surge) but..well, the DO say the kinds of things that he accused them of saying.

I am beginning to think that Fox is secretly hoping that Hillary Clinton will win the Presidency.

Now speaking of the election: let us not forget how bad Gov. Jeb Bush would be. Think of who is advisers would be and of how awful they were the last time they were in power. The Democrats must remind people of this.

Yes, I am hearing about the Bush vs. Clinton “dynasties”. Please. This article gets it right..at least mostly right. But it does leave one thing out: the Bush sons come from a super wealthy, very connected family whereas the Clintons are self-made.

Yes, I was never a big fan of Secretary Clinton as a presidential candidate in 2008; you can read my (sometimes scathing) opinion of her campaign and campaign tactics elsewhere on this blog. But here is something you can never take away from her and her husband: these were NOT silver spoon people. Bill grew up poor, and Hillary grew up middle class. Both excelled academically but this was NOT a matter of some outrageously wealthy, connected family pulling the strings for them. They made it under their own steam, period (as did President Obama). There is no comparison between their story and the story of the Bush family. Period.

And yes, I see her as a worthy candidate and I’ll support her if she wins the Democratic nomination, as expected. And no, I know of any other credible Democrat challenger and…forget the Republicans. Every Republican who has announced is a loon (at least, with respect to politics; many have achieved in other professions).

Social/Political snark

Yes, 32 percent of Republicans think there is something to the “Obama wants to take over Texas” conspiracy. That’s right..and this isn’t just Texas Republicans either.

PPPJadehelm

Note who these people tend to favor for President; there is an interesting correlation, no?

Now, yes, sometimes a famous Democrat will speak out after a major event (in this case, the Amtrack crash in Philadelphia), and yes, in this case, the train was going 100 mph in a 50 mph maximum zone. And yes, often said famous Democrat will have no qualifications in that field. What is funny is that this offends some conservatives …I wonder how many of these listen to Chuck Norris or Ted Nugent? Heck, even Joe “the Plummer” has a following. :-) Pot: meet Kettle.

Academia: stuff like this gives academics, and the humanities in general, a bad name:

An incoming Boston University professor has apologized for her controversial remarks regarding White males on Twitter, Fox News reports.
Saida Grundy, an Assistant Professor of Sociology and African-American Studies at Boston University who identifies as a “feminist sociologist of race & ethnicity,” was hit with criticism after calling White college males a “problem population” on her social media page.
Many slammed the professor and called her tweets bigoted after she stated she wouldn’t contribute to White-owned businesses on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and called St. Patrick’s Day a “made up holiday.”

“Why is White America so reluctant to identify White college males as a problem population?” she wrote.
“Every MLK week, I commit myself to not spending a dime in White-owned businesses. And every year I find it nearly impossible.”
“Can we just call St. Patrick’s Day the White people’s Kwanzaa that it is? This is not a thing in actual Ireland. It’s completely made up.”

Her tweets have since been deleted.

OF COURSE, she claims that …well..her comment was “nuanced”. That is how the game is played; cry foul if it appears that YOUR group is being attacked, but turn around and make similar statements about other groups and claim to be “misunderstood”.

Yes, we in academia (especially us lefties) to have to clean up our act and this is a step in the right direction, as is this.

May 15, 2015 Posted by | 2016, hillary clinton, politics, politics/social, poverty, racism, republicans | , , , | Leave a comment

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