Category Archives: election

A word about why American politics are so f—-d up.

Warning: this post may be offensive to everyone on earth. Better to close it now and get it over with.
Since the inauguration of Donald Trump as President, protests and riots have swept across the nation.  The new President has signed executive order after executive order, and the country is more polarized than ever.  The more I look at things, the more I can see the origins of a lot of these issues and it comes down to a saying by the late pro football coach Vince Lombardi:

“Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.”

Somewhere along the way, both the left and the right decided that their way was the not only the right way, but the only way to run things.  Instead of being open to new ideas and practicing moderation, extremism took root, aided by the absolutism made fertile by talk radio hosts, many of whom have turned out to be, themselves, outright hypocrites.  Both left and right pointed the finger at each other, decrying the other’s way as “evil” and “corrupt,” tossing about buzzwords like “income redistribution,” “globalism,” “market freedom” and “indoctrination.”

In the end, both sides are guilty of fomenting national discord for the sake of their own ambitions and avarice.  Both extremes are akin to fans of opposing teams in the Super Bowl who use the exact same offensive and defensive strategies.  The only differences are the cities represented, team colors and the one massive variable:  personalities.

This year’s Super Bowl is a great example. New England’s Tom Brady is a person who draws absolute reactions.  You either love him or you hate him.  You either admire his guile for exploiting lax rules enforcement with “deflategate,” or he is a cheater.  For Atlanta, you either love Matt Ryan for his stoicness in games and his ability to heave the ball downfield with stunning accuracy, or you hate him for his occasional post game showboating and arrogance or the demands of owner Arthur Blank.  Long story short, team affiliation and cults of personalities determine the fan base.

America’s political landscape is much the same way anymore.  It’s no longer about “what’s right for America.”  Rather, many citizens have become so fed up with the demands of either side, their rhetoric, and the approach to life their supporters take, the “win at all costs” attitude has permeated American politics.  You either love Donald Trump and what he espouses, or you loved Hillary Clinton.  Anyone who isn’t on the side of an extreme allegiance is a gutless moderate, or an independent who is immediately picked apart for which side of the ideological aisle they most identify with, regardless of if their heart is good.

We are no longer a nation which compromises for the good of all; we are a country obsessed with winning and being “right,” even if being right means may the good of the nation be damned, so long as our side prevails.  We no longer see shades of gray, or the empty spaces in between the argument where facts get lost in the name of victory.  It is now black and white terms:  good and evil, order and chaos, life and death, left and right….and zero in between allowed.

Both sides are guilty on this one.  The far right has pushed gun rights, the far left gun restriction.  The far right pushes free market and free will as the answer to everything, while the far left pushes government as the solution.  Both sides point the finger at each other when something goes wrong.  A great idea is only a great idea of our side came up with it.  If one side comes up with a truly great idea, the other side will do everything they can to stop it, and vice versa.  Why?  Because it wasn’t their idea. They can’t take credit, so they want no part of it.

This is where our nation has been taken. Compromise is death.  Bipartisanship is evil.  The left will destroy the rights of all.  The right will destroy the rights of all.  They are both the same, but they are different.  The left wants people to be lifted up, but so does the right.  The only difference is the means it happens and who at the very top benefits.  It’s old money family rivalries on a global scale.  The same monster with two heads and the same master manipulating both heads, in this case the people are the brains inside the heads, to fight each other.

But why?

Did it not occur to anyone here that if a world leader with access to nuclear weapons gets into a pissing match with another world leader with nuclear weapons in this age of “pride before prudence,” things could end VERY VERY BADLY? This is not the old Cold War era where world leaders understood the concept of mutual assured destruction. In this era where all that matters is winning, regardless of the cost, MAD isn’t really so crazy anymore.  It’s considered “acceptable risk.”

That said, here’s something think about:  all the protests and guns on earth won’t mean shit if there’s nothing left to protest or no one to kill. Yes, people are angry at each other and there are powerful people making a ton of money off pitting us against each other, but do you really think any of them give a damn about YOU when the mushroom clouds start rising? They already planned for this years ago.  At the risk of sounding like a conspiracy theorist, anyone who thinks those in position of true power haven’t found some way to gain from a world atomic holocaust are sadly mistaken.  They get to rebuild the world, only the way they see fit.

We can stop all this madness, but we need to focus on what we see happening, not the rhetoric being said or the memes being posted. Focus on what’s real instead of what is imagined. We still have a judicial system and civilian control of our military. I know people are saying we need to strike “just in case.” What is that going to accomplish? To all of you wanting a civil war to settle it all, do you really think that dying for SOMEONE ELSE’S CHECKBOOK is more important than the ideals espoused in our Constitution and Declaration of Independence, because I guarantee you that most of your radio and television pundits and commentators, liberal or conservative, couldn’t remember the Bill of Rights, much less which state first ratified the constitution.  They CAN, however, remember their bank account number and safe combination, easily.

Those want to die, or are okay with friends and loved ones dying, to impose their worldview of America on everyone else, are EXACTLY the sort of danger George Washington spoke of in his farewell address. We need to take a long hard look in the mirror as a nation, stop worrying about who is offended by who said what and what injustice was committed by people long dead, and instead focus on the injustices being committed right now, against us by each other. We need to look at our current immigrants who may not have gotten here legally, but are law abiding otherwise and a great source of tax revenue.  We need to look at our homeless and see how much of it is true laziness and how much of it is actually mental illness which, once treated effectively, can unlock the minds of potential geniuses.  We need to feed our hungry children so they can feel compassion and grow into compassionate adult instead of bitter children in adult bodies vying for the power they never knew in youth.  We need to help our veterans who our leaders have come to view as similar to sanitary napkins; something to absorb political blood in photo ops and rituals, but disposed of once they’ve outlived their usefulness.  We need to address the reality that racial tensions exist not so much as the result of what happened over a century ago, but the mistrust formed between races because of old fears turned into old wives tales, which have in turn become cultural norms.
Finally we need to remember and accept that assimilation does not mean elimination.  A people can become law abiding productive citizens without being forced to abandon their cultures and customs.  Immigrants should have to learn our language, history and abide by our laws but should not be required to abandon their heritage and culture in their own homes.  

Yes, there will always be those who wish to harm us, but we should never do the work for them, and our current political climate is doing just that.  We are truly doing our enemies’ dirty work.  We can, we must, learn to listen to the better angels of our nature.  That is what a “more perfect union” is about, after all.

President Obama’s legacy may be cemented by an asset-turned-liability

Now that the Presidential transition is upon us, a time to reflect on President Obama’s term in office bears mentioning. This is not an examination of his accomplishments or failures but, rather, a critical look at his overall term eight years after being elected the first black President in our nation’s history. The facts speak for themselves, but facts are always open to interpretation.

As an executive, there can be no argument that Barack Obama was vastly different from any of his predecessors. This is not a particular shock to anyone. George W. Bush was very much a delegating sort of executive and fiercely loyal to his advisors. This sometimes served him well but, more often than not, was a source of cannon fodder for his critics. Obama was nothing like George W. Bush in that regard, and that’s just for starters. Where Obama diverged from his predecessors was his desire to be in near constant control of his surroundings. Indeed, a President who is “asleep at the switch” is a danger to himself and others, but Obama’s management style was that of a “micromanager.” Perhaps this is owed to his days as a community organizer in Chicago, where day-to-day minutia is often managed by the very person doing the organizing. After all, a leopard can’t change his spots, so it was foolish for anyone to believe Obama would change his habits. His near obsessive use of a prepared statements and reading from teleprompters was evidence of President who possessed a near-pathological desire to control everything, for good or ill.

Still, Obama’s greatest single failing in his presidency was his greatest asset on the campaign trail; his seeming stoic, “rise above it” attitude. For a Presidential nominee this is a wonderful trait because it allowed him to shrug off attacks and accusations which would demolish the confidence of other candidates. That same attitude does not do so well in the Oval Office, where the ability to empathize with everyday Americans was something he attempted to do, but his cool demeanor was nearly Vulcan-like at times, and turned off much of the electorate, as well as gave his opponents ammunition to pick him apart and find the various weaknesses in his armor. Much to Obama’s credit, there was actually precious little which he lost his temper over publicly – he was usually quite even-keeled at both press conferences and public appearances. There was, however, one area where his emotions boiled to the surface – the issue of race.

There is one thing which I have told people time and again; when Barack Obama was elected, America was ready for a “Black President.” The real problem was that America wasn’t ready for a Black President who advocated for Black America. Some would argue he “acted black,” but the question then becomes “what is the definition of ‘acting black?’” In Obama’s case, racial issues in America were something he was hoping our nation could move past with his election; that the era of racism in America was coming to an end. Instead, several factors came into play which so polarized the nation along racial lines, President Obama simply could not overcome reality, no matter how amount of vision with which he was endowed.

One of the great problems for Obama when it came to race was, again, the very stoicism which served him so well in other areas. When black men such as Trayvon Martin were killed by either police officers and white citizens, Obama was quick to condemn systemic racism within law enforcement agencies such as the one in Ferguson, Missouri, and even unleashed the Justice Department to investigate possible Civil Rights violations. The problem was when confronted with irrefutable evidence of self defense on the part of police, as was the case in Baltimore, or malicious intent admitted by some of the cop killers, or even political negligence for political gain’s sake, Obama remained silent in almost disturbing fashion. It was as though he simply couldn’t come to grips with the possibility that both sides were guilty of bad choices. Yes, the Justice Department’s 9th inning decision to hit the Chicago PD with charges of cultural racial bias may have been well founded and based in legitimate investigation results, but the case of the murders of Georgia officers Nicholas Smarr and Jody Smith by a black male with an extensive record, and subsequent social media threats made against the families of the slain officers by both supporters of the murderer and self-proclaimed “activists,” combined with President Obama’s rather muted response to this tragedy, did little to help his legacy as a “transformational President.” If anything, his desire for justice of the black community, however well-intentioned, may have suffered from severe tunnel-vision, and thus damaged his chances of a legacy behind his initial historical achievement from an electoral standpoint. Indeed, even White House reporters admitted to various news organizations that the President seemed to have “checked out” for a while, and some even wondered if the President had felt betrayed by the very nation which elected him.

President Obama’s term in office will likely go down as mediocre rather than transformational. The Republicans in Congress have already taken highly aggressive moves to roll back Obama’s legislative initiatives, and there seems to be no indication that incoming President Donald Trump will be anything more than a rubber stamp with a very loud mouth. Yes, Obama was the President who ordered the operation which ended the life of Osama Bin Laden, and he did take a tough line with Russia over the Syrian chemical weapons crisis, but he also presided over gaffe-laden jobs programs, an economic recovery which took far longer than expected, and was cited by Politifact.com for the 2014 “Lie of the Year” when he said “if you like your doctor, you can keep him,” when speaking about the Affordable Care Act, a claim which later proved impossible. Yes, his aggressive tack against police brutality towards black Americans, particularly males, was historic in its intensity, but his political style also polarized the electorate as never before. While the Republican Party was complicit in many a legislative crisis, it was Obama’s own stoic approach, bordering on the appearance of complete hubris, which may have, fair or not, cemented his legacy not as an unifier or transformer, but as a party apparatchik and “front man” for the likes of Hillary Rodham Clinton, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.

Time will tell what Obama’s real legacy is, but it is very clear that a Donald Trump presidency, if he chooses to avoid the excesses of Andrew Jackson and Warren Harding, could be the true transformer America has wanted, for better or for worse.

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Despite his good intentions with such things as his “shovel ready jobs” program, President Barack Obama’s own stoicism and party-line stubbornness will likely relegate him to the list of mediocre Presidents.

Clinton’s defeat is a lesson in the Law of Unintended Consequences

President Barack Obama’s term is winding down, and there is much apprehension about President-elect Donald Trump, and a ton of “why’s” about Hillary Clinton’s defeat.  Washington Post writer Christopher Ingraham, in a rather insightful article, focused on – pardon the pun – the political elephant in the room:  those rural white voters who, rather than supporting Donald Trump, flipped to Hillary Clinton, bucking the national demographic trend.  What one voter gave as his reasoning for voting for Hillary was stark – Trump struck him as being like a “bomb,” and hoping Congress holds the new President accountable.  Another voter, Ed Dahle, a retired school teacher in rural Red Lake County, Michigan (61 percent of their citizens voted for Trump), gave the Washington Post an honest, yet brutal, assessment as to why Clinton lost.

“When Hillary was up to speak (during the debates), some of the people just did not feel that ease of conversation,” he said. “They felt there was like a screen or something between them and her. And that’s why so many people turned.” – Retired teacher Ed Dahle, speaking to the Washington Post.

That quote really cuts to the quick of the matter.  Yet there is another factor which many folks simply refuse to acknowledge, and that is that Clinton’s loss may have, indeed, been the result of the Law of Unintended Consequences, particularly President Obama’s administration and governing style.  Obama’s own administration had been reeling from a series of policy gaffes and “activism through inaction” with regards to the wave of attacks on police offers throughout the nation.  Also, many in the media openly lamented how the President seemed to have “checked out” over the past few years, and experts feared Obama’s trademark stoicism was fostering an impression of indifference to the problems faced by rural and working Americans, especially those suffering from skyrocketing health insurance premiums caused by the Affordable Care Act’s numerous provisions and loopholes.  There were also pundits who warned Obama’s body language and attitude towards Republican voters, and even moderate independents who supported him in 2008 and 2012, could badly damage Clinton’s chances of victory.

RELATED:  Right and Left agree – Obama has “checked out.”

In short, President Obama had a historic opportunity as president and, frankly, became Hillary’s own worst enemy.

Let’s be fair; President Obama, beyond his status as the “First Black President,” actually accomplished some pretty impressive things.  Even Trump admitted parts of the Affordable Care Act are useful and must be maintained.  Obama was the President who gave the order to eliminate Osama Bin Laden, and did have a hand in deals to keep General Motors and Chrysler afloat, saving thousands of American jobs.  His administration also maintained or expanded programs to help mortgage holders navigate the troubled waters of the Great Recession, extended unemployment benefits to keep millions out of poverty, and his administration was able to turn the economy around, albeit slowly, to a trend of relative growth, even if it remains sluggish.  His work continued the job of cleaning the Wall Street-produced economic dog poop, which began under former President George W. Bush.  In the hyper-partisan political environment he faced, those things were no small potatoes.

Unfortunately, Obama committed a major error; he surrounded himself with many advisors who were disciples of the Saul Alinsky philosophy of radicalism.  Though Obama’s term began with an inauguration speech reminiscent of the days of JFK’s Camelot, it quickly devolved into an administration steeped in arrogance, leftist ideology, and an impression of condescension towards everyday Americans.  Naming GE CEO Jeff Immelt, who openly campaigned for Obama during his 2008 campaign and dangerously blurred the lines between media objectivity and political activism, as a policy advisor was bad enough (GE had over a billion dollars in government contracts in their interest), but bringing in noted 60s radical Van Jones as another policy advisor further damaged his credibility.  Polarizing figure after polarizing figure visited the White House, and it only solidified the impression, however misguided, many conservatives shad of Obama being a left-wing globalist who didn’t care about mainstream Americans.  Obama’s attitude towards this appeared to be one of “I’m the boss, deal with it,” which only made things worse for him.    In fact, statements made by Obama about Republicans having to “eat your peas” over the 2011 debt ceiling crisis, and statements about being able to bypass Congressional authority through Executive Actions with his statement of “I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone” further cemented his image as an elitist insider who was completely out of touch with average Americans.

RELATED:  2014 article – Obama speaks about Executive Actions

Then there was the matter of Hillary Clinton being his Secretary of State.

When Hillary’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, made Madeline Albright the first female Secretary of State, she was regarded as capable, respected and not a ladder-climbing political elitist and egomaniac.  Albright’s term may not have been the most stellar in American history, but she held a “first woman to…” distinction.  Hillary was not a “first anything,” which absolutely chafed her, and she was determined to show how tough she was as Secretary of State, but that rubbed many international leaders the wrong way, particularly Russia, which accepted Hillary as a matter of course, but took her about as seriously as the Soviet hockey team took the Americans in 1980.  The “reset button” moment between Russian’s Vladimir Putin and Clinton was regarded by many in Moscow as a joke and, for that reason, Hillary later appeared to have been hoodwinked.  Further, Clinton’s reactions and answers at Congressional hearings about the Benghazi attacks, and the subsequent email controversies involving her use of a private email server, further painted her as an out of touch elitist, which dogged her to the very end.

Where President Obama figured into this was a character flaw he suffered from; an extraordinarily awful sense of timing and proportionate response.  Though he may have had myriad good intentions, Obama picked the worst possible times to stay silent or, when he acted, did so with either far too much or far too little authority.  In the case of Clinton, Obama appeared to be protecting a fellow Democrat and heir-apparent to the Oval Office in his lack of action while, it the cases of police shootings in Ferguson, Missouri and Baltimore, he appeared too aggressive towards reigning in rogue officers and departments.  When riots hit those and other cities, and later, a rash of murders of police officers hit the nation, his responses (or, in some cases, lack thereof) created an impression, justified or not, of a President enabling a culture of vengeance for what African Americans, and other minorities, suffered over the years.  Despite the historical facts of race relations in America,  Attorney General Eric Holder’s approach, which was portrayed as and, in some ways was, indeed, activist, did little to help Clinton’s campaign. In fact, it is possible that Obama’s own stubborn loyalty to the activists within his cabinet gave Americans the impression he was blinded to, or simply ignored, the greater issue; that his responsibility to maintain calm and the rule of law as President outweighed his personal desire to seek justice for those who had been oppressed and targeted.  Worse still, Obama’s own staff displayed a historic ineptitude with the media.  A President who had the opportunity to bridge the racial and economic divides between Americans instead embraced an open policy of activism and radical transformation.  In short, rather than taking a moderate approach, President Obama went for too much, too fast, too soon.

This did more than just empower Trump supporters, it galvanized them as never thought possible.  Those whom embraced Trump’s bombastic and oft-bigoted rhetoric – did so because of a feeling of his being able to relate to them. Feelings of anger and blind rage over being abandoned by their own country transformed into action, and it led to a movement whose goal was singular in approach – strike back at, and destroy, anything which even carried a stench of political correctness.

The pendulum had begun to swing from one extreme to another.

Now for a dose of uncomfortable reality:  Trump pulled off the greatest marketing ploy since Davey Crockett, packaging himself as a larger-than-life, all-American business hero who could pull the nation out of what supporters felt was a cesspool of moral relativism, liberal softness, and political correctness, and back to the “good ol’ days,” reminiscent of a time when everyone “got their hands dirty” and “knew their place.”  It also, sadly, unified and motivated hate groups and bigots who believed a Trump victory would give them license to act out in their interests and “take back America.”  Hillary’s campaign  approach, which flip-flopped between elitist stoicism and firebrand speeches, some of which sounded more like shrill temper tantrums than cohesive calls to actions, gave Trump an easy target.  Knowing it was in its twilight days, Obama’s own administration seemed to have checked out as much as the President, leading to wise decisions, such as re-investigations of Clinton’s activities while running the State Department, being made at ridiculously bad times for the Democratic nominee.

Clinton’s loss may have also illustrated a cruel irony; that being her defeat was, at least in small part, the unintended consequence of an administration which was in the most out-of-sight, out-of-mind mode anyone had seen since the final days of the Nixon regime.  Had Obama’s cabinet and Hillary’s campaign displayed more tactical wisdom and taken Trump more seriously in the early going that it did, it is very likely Trump might not have even locked down the GOP nomination.  Of course, sadly, hindsight is always 20/20.

It is said it takes at least a generation to even begin a fair assessment of an American President.  Jimmy Carter is regarded as one of the worst, but better than James Buchanan (sorry, if you allowed the nation to fracture into civil war, you will always be at the bottom) and Nixon (you can’t overcome resigning in lieu of impeachment).  Ronald Reagan is listed as among the best, but Abraham Lincoln, FDR and George Washington will always beat him (you can’t beat presidents who held the nation together in its first days, a civil war, or a global conflict against fascism.)  So where will Obama likely end up?  The smart money says somewhere in the upper middle; after Reagan, Ike and Jefferson but well ahead of Clinton, Bush “43”, and Wilson.  He was not the best by a longshot, but far from the worst.  Call him a divider if you will, but so was Hoover, LBJ, Jackson and Nixon.  You can also call him a radical, but so was FDR, Jefferson, and Lincoln in their ways.  What’s required is objectivity and perspective, and that will not be easily achieved for at least a generation.  In the meantime, Obama and Clinton both need to take a long, hard look in their mirrors and ask themselves the classic JFK question.

Rather than what the country did for (or against) them, but what did they truly do for their country.

Political disclaimers and warning labels – handle with care, we mean it!

We interrupt this coffee sipping moment to review the current election cycle’s situation.

(choking…catching our breath)

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Made ya look!

Okay, that’s better!  That’s what you get when you read headlines about Donald Trump’s taxes, the New York Times actually admitting it was wrong about Hillary Clinton (yes, that’s what caused the choking fit because that meant the Earth really is to crash into the Sun) and how Florida State lost to North Carolina this past week.  All these should have come with warning labels of some sort, and that brings along a thought which has been rattling around in the crawlspace of my head for the past few days.

Politicians and political parties are so quick to demand regulations and disclaimers on things, why can’t they themselves have disclaimers?  A warning label about carbon emissions, or toxic words, or waste product spewing from the mouth?  The old joke about politicians wearing sponsor logos like race car drivers do is still not too far from the truth but let’s take it a step further and examine some prominent politicians, parties, and candidates for a moment and apply the appropriate disclaimer or warning label to them.

DEMOCRATIC PARTY DISCLAIMER:  The candidate presented does not reflect the views of the electorate of the party itself.  The candidate could exhibit systems of fatigue and stress during the campaign, some of them disturbing such as deleted emails, missing staffers, coughing, sneezing, wheezing, laughing and sleeping with her husband.

REPUBLICAN PARTY DISCLAIMER:  The candidate presented does reflect the views of the party itself, but in no way is reflective of the grass roots background of our voters.  The candidate may also exhibit symptoms of campaign stress, such as above-average obnoxious behavior, bombast, and boisterous.  The candidate is also known to repeat himself frequently; patience is advised.

HILLARY CLINTON WARNING LABEL:  Prone to looking like an icicle on stage, semi-psychotic off stage, and is prone to violent outbursts when the words “Benghazi,” “Emails,” and “Monica” are mentioned.

DONALD TRUMP WARNING LABEL:  Prone to using words such as “great,” “amazing,” and “smart” excessively.  Possesses an inflated sense of his own importance.  May avoid paying taxes.

DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ WARNING LABEL:  Contents past their expiration date.  Please replace with new version as soon as possible and upgrade internal data to reflect accurate reporting and remove desire to interfere with results.

TED CRUZ WARNING LABEL:  Contents prone to shifting position.  Handle with care.

MITCH McCONNELL LABEL:  Contents may not be as advertised on screen.  Buyer beware.

BARACK OBAMA WARNING LABEL:  Contents under extreme pressure.  May or not perform as expected.

SARAH PALIN WARNING LABEL:  Please lock away when not in use.  Keep in a cool dry place away from trees, bears, and snowmachine operators.  Store away from firearms.

CHRIS MATTHEWS WARNING LABEL:  Prone to underperformance.  Manage your expectations.

MIKE PENCE WARNING LABEL:  Read label carefully.  New model, still in development.

TIM KAINE WARNING LABEL:  Read label carefully.  Model incomplete, despite being available for use for many years.

JOE BIDEN WARNING LABEL:  Unstable contents.  Do not expose to sunlight.

BILL CLINTON WARNING LABEL:  Keep away from women.  Prone to misuse.

AL SHARPTON WARNING LABEL:  Do not use while near a camera.  Prone to excessive limelight absorption.

RUSH LIMBAUGH WARNING LABEL:  Contains high concentrations of bombast and hyperbole.  Use with a grain of salt.

MY WARNING LABEL:  May spout off at the mouth.  Prone to frequent sarcasm and use of inappropriate humor.  Neither conservative or liberal.

 

Trump vs. Clinton: The Ultimate Monday Night Super Something-or-other

HEMPSTEAD, NY – Hofstra’s football season in Division I Football Championship Subdivision (read:  REAL playoff, not this TV crap!), kicked into high gear tonight when, in a momentous showdown, Republican billionaire tycoon and Make-America-Great Booster Donald “The Hair” Trump faced off against his Democratic opponent, closest commie-elitist and reputed illegitimate twin sister of Dr. Evil Hillary Rodham Kennedy Onassis Pelosi Chelsea Hiddleston Swift Clinton.

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L-R:  Clinton, Trump, and some guy who sold out.

PREGAME:  It took near fifteen minutes for moderator Lester “I am objective, dammit!” Holt to introduce the players, actually establish ground rules, flip the coin, comb Trump’s hair, prop Clinton up against her post, and then get comfortable in his Chair of Perpetual Squirming.  No swords were reported used in the construction of said chair.

FIRST QUARTER:  Trump opted to receive, but fumbled on kickoff when Clinton, in a stunning move reminiscent of the New England Patriots, attempted to deflate the GOP nominee’s ego.  Despite managing to recover the ball, Clinton was unable to make much headway at first, settling for small gains, such as calling her opponent “Donald” as opposed to “Mr. Trump.”  During her initial scoring drive, Clinton was twice called for delay of game, but Holt reversed the decision after realizing that NBC was not, in fact, producing the debate.  Once he managed to get the ball back, Trump began to hammer away the Clinton defense, using relentless attacks against her economic policies and tax rates, with his patented quick-out play calls of “great” and “extraordinary” used repeatedly to advance the ball.  Quarter ends with Trump scoring three times, twice on the debate floor and once with Marla Maples during a water break, but the latter was reversed when Holt flagged Trump for Illegal Procedure:  Time Travel to the late 1980s.  Clinton kicked a field goal, with former President Bill Clinton’s head being used to hold the ball in place – yes, his head was also kicked.  Fortunately, nobody in the crowd was injured when the errant kick careened off the podium, with Bill’s head striking a female camera grip in the groin.  At the end of the first quarter:  Trump 32, Clinton -3

SECOND QUARTER:  Trump continued to hammer away at Clinton’s economic policies, using an aggressive pass attack to shred the Democrat’s defense, before having to settle for a field goal after Clinton opened up an IRS blitz package on him.  Trump attempted to use play “33,000” to confuse his opponent, but the naked bootleg made so many in the audience vomit simultaneously, Trump was quickly hit by Holt with a penalty for Unsportmanslike Conduct, moving him away from a sure 1st and Goal situation.  The GOP nominee eventually had to settle for another field goal.  Clinton struck back quickly, with lightning speed, using her recently perfected offensive package “DaddysSmallBusiness” as fast-attack offense with repeated up-the-gut blows from her solid counter-strike offensive play of “TrumpStiffs” and “Loan 600 mil” to keep Trump off guard.  Both plays led to fast scores, with Clinton ultimately closing the gap, but not until Holt called her for illegal procedure when she, in a moment of astonishing foolishness, admitted she screwed up as a politician when she previously denied screwing up.  At the end of the half:  Trump 35, Clinton 23.9

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Talked a LOT about her dad’s small business.  Closet one-percenter.

HALFTIME:  Half the known universe when on social media to Facebook, Tweet, Instalock, and Pin The Tail on the Interest (we think), while the rest was getting hammered on cheap beer, and watching Monday Night Football.

THIRD QUARTER:   Clinton blew out of the gate, returning the second half kickoff for a quick score with her calls for better opportunities for minorities. Upon getting the ball back, Trump began to chew clock with his reliable “LawOrder” offense, pounding away at the Clinton defense with a strong ground game.  Clinton attempted to force turnovers with regards to Trump’s record on race relations, but those attempts were to no avail as his offensive game was well in control when he had the ball.  Unfortunately, Trump’s drive stalled when he got to the red zone, and Clinton’s defense stiffened when questions about New York’s “Stop and Frisk” law arose.  Trump lost the ball on attempts, then challenged the ruling on the field, but Holt ruled there was irrefutable evidence that Trump and Clinton were both hogging the limelight, so the play stood as called.  Clinton got the ball back, but her drive stalled when she tried to laugh and nearly broke her kickstand.  At the end of the Third Quarter:  Trump 41, Clinton 50

Republican presidential candidate Trump gestures and declares "You're fired!" at a rally in Manchester
This was just him yelling “hike!”  Seriously.

FOURTH QUARTER:  The final stanza of this showdown was a see-saw battle of wills, with Trump scoring twice in rapid succession finding political holes in the Clinton defense.  Clinton then put Trump on his heels with repeated accusations about his take on nuclear weapons, NATO, pet spiders, large fluffy rabbits and rumors he favored Detroit Pizza over New York.  Trump fired back that Clinton’s team allowed Iran to become more powerful, Cleveland to win a world championship in basketball, cats to become more popular than dogs, and Florida State University to lose to Louisville.  The two continued to trade pot shots, with Lester Holt looking visibly sleepy and even tossing the occasional errant penalty flag at the crowd for unnecessary boredom, but the final minute displayed Clinton and Trump each getting hit with offsetting penalties for obnoxiousness and going off-script.  At the end of the debate, two knights came in, shook hands, said “alright, we’ll call it a draw,” then Sean Bean was paraded in and beheaded.

Final Score:  Trump *@#!  Clinton *@#!

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This is your brain on debates and Lester Holt.  Any questions?

STATISTICS

Attendance:  325 (300 drunk by the end of the debate)

Debate Time:  Entirely too long.

STAT                      TRUMP                 CLINTON

Attacks                 13                           12

Yawns                   0                              4

Cheap Shots       9                              2

Talking Points    4                              32

IRS Mentions     3                              2339002

Sane Moments 2                              5

Snide Remarks  5                              5

Penalties             13                           13

Officials:  Lester Hold (NBC)

NOTES:  Screw it, let’s go get a beer and watch “WestWorld” when it comes on.

Whale Phallology: You really DON’T want to know, but you’ll read anyway

It’s always bad form to discuss genitalia in a public forum, unless you can somehow tie it to an election issue and something stupid in the news. As is expected, I will attempt to do just that. Fortunately, I have been given a bit of a gift from a friend who shall remain nameless here only because I have no clue what inspired her to find this, but it seems there is a Whale Penis Museum.

Actually, let’s be clear: it is not devoted exclusively to the Whale Penis. That is a small (rim shot) part of a greater whole (another rim shot). The exhibit is part of the Icelandic Phallological Museum, which is dedicated to the collection and study of all things phallic. Their website is remarkably academic in how it presents the specimens (yes, I am attempting to contain my laughter at these puns) but the mission statement alone is quite astounding in its devotion to the academia of the male genital part.

The Icelandic Phallological Museum is probably the only museum in the world to contain a collection of phallic specimens belonging to all the various types of mammal found in a single country. Phallology is an ancient science which, until recent years, has received very little attention in Iceland, except as a borderline field of study in other academic disciplines such as history, art, psychology, literature and other artistic fields like music and ballet. Now, thanks to The Icelandic Phallological Museum, it is finally possible for individuals to undertake serious study into the field of phallology in an organized, scientific fashion.

As hard as it might be to believe, this museum consists of some amazing artwork and metalwork, glass and stone craft, all with the male apparatus in mind. Also, what the hell is phallic ballet? Never mind, forget I asked! Of course, the real draw seems to be the Whale Penis Exhibit. Iceland, once a proud whaling culture, culled many a whale member for a variety of uses, none of which can be divulged without risking a serious “Beavis & Butthead” style fit of uncontained laughter. Some of the pieces are reputed to be as tall as five feet! Let it be known throughout the land…there is no car economical enough to compete with Whale Johnson.

That would be all well and good, but now comes word that a whale can spew almost 40 gallons of semen during one mating session? Crazier still, much of that doesn’t even get into the female whale. Of course, it’s possible a recently circulated picture of the same male whale in writhing passion, love machine flipping about like an out of control sea serpent, could just be in the process of audition for the next season of Game of Thrones: Whale Edition. How do we know what really turns a whale on? Is it Hillary? Is it Donald? Is it word of an unscrupulous funeral home owner being freed? Is it the notion of Taylor Swift and Tom Hiddleston dating, or could it just be the most disgusting, fundamentally gross notion of earth: whale porn.

We will likely never know, so I shall retire to my table near the beach with my delicious blue rare steak and HEY!!! What the hell is all this crap? I didn’t ask for white gravy!

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Superheroes so lame, you…oh, nevermind just read it.

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The Practice Squad is so lame, even THESE guys would rather be free agents.

The recent success of Captain America: Civil War had got me to thinking (Homeland Security has been advised of this, by the way) about some everyday “superhero” type characters nobody would bother to create.  Granted, this sort of idea was attempted with the ill-fated 1990s movie adaptation of the comic book “Mystery Men,” in which the awesome William H. Macy, as The Shoveler, was simply awesome.  Also, Ben Stiller played a really pissed off dude, but that’s besides point.  Before the post devolves into a complete Sumter County vs. Walker County shootout over whose Board of County Commissioners are the bigger crooks (you think I’d miss that dig?), let’s jump headlong into the world of comic book superheroes who aren’t even really “the other guys,” but the “other other other other guys,” the Rand Pauls and Liz Warrens of the superhero world, if you get my drift.  So, in that spirit, let’s call them the “Practice Squad.”

Passive-Aggressive Man:  His powers come from common element Assholium which, in high concentrations, alters the state of ordinary people into becoming really annoying ordinary people with major league anger issues.  Those powers include the ability to engage in monologues in which he plans to destroy his enemies, but really doesn’t want to because he cares too much, and the rare superpower of being able to walk away angry and grumbling and not caring, only to come back and attack with everything he’s got.  What really pisses him off is the fact his name actually acronyms to “PAM,” and he happens to have a sidekick named Jim, which of course results in his archenemies cracking myriad “Office” jokes at his expense.  His weakness is being anywhere near Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Miss Anti-Relationship:  Her powers are derived from the elements Bichslapium and Assholium both being present in her blood which, when combined in the heat of battle, alters her personality such that she begins to scream and rant and rave and pull hair and scratch and claw, and that’s not even in the playful, wild romp in the bedroom sort of way.  No, Miss Anti-Relationship’s superhero mission is to save all women from the destructive power of male dominance in a relationship.  Oddly enough, she has designs on Passive-Aggressive Man, who really doesn’t want a relationship with her but still is affectionate and caring because, seriously, who the hell else is gonna do it?  Her weakness is Chris Hemsworth.  That’s it.

Whogivesafuq:  This hero’s superpower is actually rare – he has the ability to simply not care about anything at will.  A speeding train carrying the entire population of, say, Lafayette, Georgia could fall off a cliff into a ball of fire and he would look down, shrug his shoulders, and simply say “oh well.”  This superpower is derived from the element Dooshbagium, which occurs in small quantities but, when introduced to neurotransmitters, has the ability to cause a complete shutdown.  Most humans actually go into fatal emotional paralysis from this, but Whogivesafuq, thanks to his highly evolved sense of nihilism, could give a crap less about that too.  He can usually be found skulking around bars and taverns, trying to act interested when he really isn’t.  His lone weakness is when he gets interested in something, his powers of indifference evaporate instantly.

The Swinger:  Do not confuse this superhero with “Swinger,” whose sole superpower is getting a piece of action whenever he wants.  The Swinger (he’s very sensitive about this) holds the superpower of being able to hit a softball on target at will, smacking dogs, cats, children, windows, security systems, even nuclear warhead activation suitcases.  He’s just that good!  His superpowers come from the rare element homerunium, which instills a highly competitive spirits and an unrelenting desire to relive his glory days playing intramural softball in college.  He reserves his powers to fighting crimes such as bad calls in baseball games, where he uses his ability to knock out the umps with a single ball to the head.  His main weakness is the fact he can’t stand a blown call.

Bustierra:  This superheroine almost always works in tandem with other superheroes because of her power of distraction.  Her base element is actually common:  silicone (rim shot).  She also possessed the highly rare element slutygen, which endows her with the ability to woo both male and female enemies with her “weapons,” if you get our drift.  Her powers of distraction work best with The Swinger, who uses his balls and bat (this particular character description is getting very Freudian now) to subdue adversaries.  Her lone weakness is homeopathic remedies.

And the final member of the Practice Squad:

Fangirl:  This superheroine generally tags along with Passive-Aggressive Man and “Jim” but can operate quite well on her own in the presence of celebrities.  Her superpower is fawning over villains and wildcards she admires to put them into a false sense of security, then knocking them down off the pedestal she placed them upon with wreckless abandon.  The element she derives her powers from, crazium, is common in most people but Fangirl has managed to synthesize high quantities within her blood because of her propensity to down energy drinks in rapid succession.  Her lone weakness is Mark Hamill voicing any incarnation of the Joker.  Her archenemy is any Harley Quinn fan.

With their powers combined, they create the most dangerous weapon ever devised by a group of people who really have too much time on their hands:  the Death Meme!  So there you have it, the Practice Squad is coming to a city, suburb, unincorporated area, or Sheriff’s race near you.  Check your local polls for times, channels, and latest rumor.