Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Let President Sanders Do It

United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia passed away over the weekend.  In a show of deference and respect to the Justice, flags across the country are being flown at half staff.  It's only right given the prominence of the deceased.

I'm not sure if the body was out of the Texas ranch where he was found before Sen. Mitch McConnell decided that it would only be right and proper if President Obama abrogated his Constitutional responsibility and leave the appointment of a successor to the next president.  After all, it's only a year away.  And that would only be right.

Of course that's not what Law Review contributor Mitch McConnell wrote back in the 70's.  THAT Mitch McConnell wrote that:

"The President is presumably elected by the people to carry out a program and shifting the ideological direction of the Supreme Court would seem to be a perfectly legitimate part of a Presidential platform."

I read and read but couldn't find the part where he wrote "unless I disagree with him".

This SAME situation occurred in 1988.  President Ronald Reagan, in an election year, nominated Anthony Kennedy to the Supreme Court.  Congress was then controlled by the Democrats.

You know what happened?


Of course the Republican clown car of candidates fell all over each other - especially Senators Cruz and Rubio - to state in no uncertain terms that they will block any Obama appointment.  It matters not that they have no idea who that appointee is.  A couple of names that have been floated were just approved by said senators (and ALL senators for that matter) for Court of Appeals positions. 

Apparently they have become disagreeable.

Oh wait, they couldn't have become disagreeable because they were ready to obstruct before they knew any facts.


The hallmark of the Republican led Congress has been "obstruct but don't construct".  It may even be on the Republican Caucus letterhead.  They have no ideas, no alternative, no anything, except "no" itself.  Now they want to politicize the Court.  Deep lovers of the Constitution that they allegedly are, you'd think that they would move forward with business of governing and try and leave politics out of it - as the Framers intended. As we've seen, though, that matters not when they don't agree with it.

Rubio and Cruz' knee-jerk reactions without even knowing the nominee is petty, political and does NOT serve the needs of the American people.  It also clearly illustrates that they are only ideologues with not a practical bone in their bodies.  But then they've proven that they have no interest in what is good for the American people - unless it meets their definition of what should be good for us.  A conservative Christian equivalent of Sharia law, if you will.

Independents and centrists that will control the election in November can see right through power plays, inaction and stagnation that the Republicans are becoming famous for.  In a year where control of the Senate can turn to the Democrats and a more liberal President than Obama (those of you that have no idea what the actual definition of "Communist" is notwithstanding) could take office.

I'd LOVE to see what happens when this bolt of brilliance - more obstruction and stagnation - inevitably backfires.  We will see a Democratic Senate advise and consent to a President Sanders' nominee and these dolts can stand by and wonder what if they actually worked WITH the last President.  Actually DID THEIR JOBS.

Of course they'll just wring their hands and blame everyone but themselves.  Welcome to the Trumpification of the GOP.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Welcome to the 2020 Presidential Election – Buckle Up, Folks!

I find myself thinking about the 2020 Presidential Election more than the one that will happen this year. Call me strange (most of you do already) but I fear that the 2020 election is going to change the way that politics happens in the United States. If you think that THIS year is crazy… just wait!

This presidential election season already has had some unprecedented and noteworthy events. One of them that I am fascinated about is the emergence of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. One is a billionaire who says he has used the broken system to his advantage many times and the other rails against billionaires for using the broken system to their advantage. Yet both of these guys are selling the same sandwich... Anti-Establishment Thoughts on rye bread with Say Anything cheese and a side of Crazy Hair chips.  

If you break down these two campaigns, they are remarkably the same in structure but different flavor. Both “The Bern” and “The Don” are telling their supporters what they want to hear. Both have said that the current system is broken and they both have crazy plans to make it better. Both have political backgrounds that back in the day, in my lifetime, would have made them laughing stocks! First you have Bernie who in an Independent and self-identifies as a Democratic Socialist when most Americans liken the term Socialist to Communist or Marxist. Trump is quoted several times saying that he has played both sides of the political arena depending on his needs and has given huge amounts of money and support in order to get his way with no real loyalty to either side. I just can’t imagine that either of those stances would fly even 8 years ago. Both of these guys can say what they want with no real dump in popularity. Bern has thrown some WILD ideas about how he will change American economically without real proof that he can do it and Trump said he could openly kill a person and still not be touched in the polls. I am starting to believe that both of them are true.

Mix in the other people who are running and it is a figurative fruit salad:

Hillary Clinton– Great resume and experience but not likable or charismatic at all. I think that it is time for a woman president and if another woman who had half of her experience and was likable was running; Hillary would have already had to concede.

Ted Cruz – Trying hard to be a political outsider, only because it’s cool. He is so far right that the Tea Party is scared and apparently is disliked by every one of his colleges in the Senate.

Marco Rubio –“The Establishment Candidate from Hell”. “They” want to run him so bad, but “They” can’t get him to put together a cohesive statement about anything that doesn’t get thrown back in his face. He polls well against Hillary, but is getting crushed by Ted and Trump in exit polls from the last 2 caucuses for no apparent reason.

Ben Carson – Holy Shit. On NBC’s Meet the Press in October 2015, Carson compared women who terminate their unwanted pregnancies to slave owners. Back in 2013, he said in a speech that “Obamacare is really I think the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery.” In an interview with CNN in October, Carson blamed the Holocaust on the fact that Nazis took guns away from the Jewish people. “I think the likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed,” Carson said. “There’s a reason these dictatorial people take the guns first.” Carson said in a CNN interview in March that homosexuality is a choice, citing people who “go into prison straight – and when they come out, they’re gay” as proof. He later attempted to apologize for the remarks in which he addressed those who were offended, but reinforced his belief that sexual orientation is chosen. Carson has also called marriage equality a “Marxist plot,” described marriage equality supporters as “enemies of America,” and compared homosexuality to pedophilia and bestiality, another statement that led him to similarly “apologize” for his “poorly chosen words.” HOLY SHIT!

Jeb – I won’t use his last name until he does. He came in like gangbusters and then in his first debate came in 8th in the GOP voters of FLORIDA! The state he was governor! 8th!!! I wonder if he will ever talk to his brother again. He did have his mom come out and stump for him and then later that night had to ASK FOR PEOPLE TO CLAP FOR HIM! www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYau9SZXn54 His mom must have been SO proud.

So here is where I am going with all of this… If this is now the norm, what is the NEXT election going to look like? It’s not enough to just say you are Pro-Life, like in the past and it’s not going to be enough to just say that you are so Pro-Life that even in the cases of incest, rape or if the mother will die you still think that the woman has no choices but to carry the baby to term. In 2020 you will have to take a woman who has a friend who might have had abortion while driving past Planned Parrenthood and throw her in a pit of lava.

Next election, being a professional fact checker will be a job that doesn’t exist. This year during debates on BOTH side so the fence, “facts” are not the cool thing to use. It was reported by Politifact that in the second GOP debate that 75% of statements that Donald Trump make were either false or “Pants on Fire” yet he was deemed the winner of the debate! 75%! In 2020, you will be able to stand at a podium on live TV and tell the American public that you opponent is an alien who has for sure slept with the wives, daughters and dogs of every one of the men from Iowa and will win that caucus by 95 points, easy.

I sit at home and think about what 2020 will be like if “the people” pick Trump and/or Sanders in this primary/caucus system’s popular vote and low and behold the SUPER DELEGATES come out to play and we end up with Rubio v. Clinton. I promise there will have to be more riot cops deployed around the US than ever before. If you don’t know what a Super Delegate is, look HERE.

So hang tight, folks, it’s going to be bumpy! 2016 ain’t shit on what we are going to see in four years!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Pats' Fan For Peyton

I really don't like the Broncos. Their fans are holier than thou, though they've certainly been embroiled in their own cheating scandals that they don't want to talk about; Super Bowl MVP Von Miller, an absolute manimal on the field who completely deserved the award, has had his own issues with PED use and attempting to dodge the testing process. But all I hear from their fans is "we don't cheat"...uh-huh.

And the play of Aqib Talib was disgraceful in the first half.  He actually ADMITTED that his face mask penalty was on-purpose.  Ripping a wide out down by the face mask is a great way to cause a neck injury which is why it is a personal foul and a 15-yard penalty.  But our players are beyond reproach.  You betcha.

There is, however, one reason I'm glad they won.

Peyton Manning.

Though he's been a longtime rival of my Patriots and Tom Brady, I can't help but like the guy.

His Saturday Night Live appearances are legendary.  His United Way parody skit is one of the greatest of all time.

He's a pitchman extraordinaire and completely makes selling out look fun!  And I mean that sincerely and in the very best of ways.  Chris and I have talked repeatedly about selling out - "early and often" is our motto!  Make your money when you can.  Your critics don't pay your bills and won't support your family.  Laugh, or in Peyton's case - sing - all the way to the bank.  "Cashing checks I love you sooooo."

You can never know the guy personally from the perspective of a fan, of course, but he comes across warm and open.  I love me my Tom Brady (he's awfully dreamy) but Tom just doesn't pull off warm and open.  Peyton you'd like to sit and have a beer with.  A Budweiser apparently.  I'd feel like if I sat at a bar with Tom I'd be nervous about ordering the wrong wine, spirit or craft beer!

Sure, Peyton isn't without his clouds (are any of us?).  Right now he has a mighty big one floating around on alleged HGH use.  He has admitted that it was delivered to his house.  And it sure was suspiciously close to his recovery from a neck injury.  But the claim is that it was for his wife. 

Naysayers are saying "sure...his wife..." and winking mightily.  What if it actually WAS for his wife?  He doesn't need to prove that to us - mostly because it would be an intense violation of her privacy.  Proving it to league investigators, in private and under non-disclosure, would be enough. 

And no I'm not going to get into comparing and contrasting the presumption of innocence by parties on the Pat's alleged deflation of footballs and this issue.  That's been done ad nauseum and Commissioner Goodell and the NFL have done a good job of looking like morons all on their own.  Brady's treatment was shameful given the "evidence" and that's that.

I like the guy. 

I can't help it.  I'm not turning in my Tom Brady fan club membership card or my Tedy Bruschi jersey, but I do like and respect him.  I hope he does retire.  It would be great for him to go out on top.  His performance has slid and with his nagging injuries and advancing football years (40 before the start of next season) it would be the best way for him to retire. 

I'd rather he hang 'em up now rather than hang around and play one year too long.  For one, that's sad to see and secondly, one hit in just the right spot in the neck could cripple him.  That's no way for a legend to have to go.

Now should it end up that he goes all Rafael Palmero on us: forget what I said.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Phil Don't Know Winter

Punxsutawney Phil (pictured above from his Facebook page...) says that winter is going to be shorter this year.  Hooray for Phil.  How about you move your furry ass someplace where there is REALLY winter every year and THEN make your prediction?!
Winter is never short up here in Minnesota, though up until today the winter of 2015-16 was trying hard to give us a break.
However, this is today…the START of today.  It’s not even supposed to get heavy for a few hours.
To be fair, this winter really hasn’t been too bad for us all things considered.  We have had our lows to 20 below and our highs under zero, but that happens here.  It’s Minnesota after all.
When it’s -20 you can do a really neat trick: get some boiling (or near boiling) water and toss it out your front door.  It’s so damn cold that the water flash crystallizes and, voila, you have nearly instant snow!  It’s a hoot.  Unless you’re like several of the yahoos that made the rounds on YouTube a couple of years back who tossed boiling hot water INTO the wind and promptly burnt themselves.  It’s hard to believe that you even NEED to caveat an experiment like that with “now don’t toss the 212 degree water into the wind because it will blow back over you”, but apparently you do.
We embrace winter (to a degree) here in the northland.  Let’s face it, you kind of have to or you’ll drive yourself crazy.  Snowmobiling is obviously big here and there are more ski areas than you’d think given the topography but that crap is normal all over the northern tier of states.
We Ice Fish
That’s right.  We go out on frozen lakes, drill a hole and drop a line.  THAT’s how much we love our walleye. And beer.  There is plenty of beer out in the icehouses on lakes this time of year.  Some lakes take on the look of small cities.  The next time I’m up north or over by the Mississippi I’ll tweet a photo.  It’s incredible. 
We Raise Money
We do “Winterfest” and “Winter Carnival”. Vulanus Rex and his Krewe maraud joyfully throughout the Carnival and raise a ton of money for charity up in St. Paul.  Rochester’s Winterfest’s stated mission is “… to promote wintertime activities for all ages while raising awareness and funds for events sponsored by area nonprofit organizations.”  We leverage winter for charitable organizations.  THAT is the way you turn winter on its ass!
We Drink A Little
Another highlight here in Rochester every winter are the ice bars that pop up on the Peace Plaza for SocialIce.  Twelve themed ice bars, music and socializing in the heart of Rochester every February.  It’s our way of flipping the bird at Winter.  And drinking outside.  Drinking outside is kind of our thing.
None of this changes the fact that winter is indeed a pain in the ass.  A few years back we had a foot of snow in May.  There was once a blizzard that cancelled Halloween. All the celebrating in the world doesn’t change the fact that -20 is freaking cold, (and no, that does NOT include the wind chill – counting wind chill is for sissies!), that snow sucks (especially when you move into the prime ‘you can die from shoveling age’ like I have) and winter is way too long. 
Not matter what some jackass hedgehog in Pennsylvania says.