Monthly Archives: October 2016


One must first recognize that all of politics is basically a sales job. The better the salesman (or woman), the more likely that he or she will prevail in the general election. In 2016 there’s no question that through the use of demagoguery, bombast and bullying, Trump is far more effective at salesmanship than Clinton. The fact that unlike husband Bill, Hillary’s natural political skills are sorely lacking, especially when campaigning before large audiences,  is obvious to even the most casual observer. While, for Trump, his abilities in exciting large crowds to buy into his demagogic and delusional promises is virtually unmatched in modern times. One has to go back to Hitler and Mussolini, almost a century ago, to find comparative skills in unbridled demagoguery. Thus, the only thing holding Trump back from enjoying a commanding lead in this race is Trump himself. His vile, vulgar, disgusting, and pathologically narcissist personality, shines through loud and clear, and tends to offset his natural salesmanship talents. His lewd and pornographic remarks about women, his inherent racism toward Hispanics, Chinese and others, his serial lies about the current administration and the state of world affairs, plus other nasty characteristics do tend to be rather off-putting. His unhinged and delusional mind-set might also give pause to those imagining his fingers on the nuclear trigger.

All that would tend to create a plausible explanation as to why Hillary had, until recently, a rather commanding lead in most polls. With this latest kerfuffle, however, initiated by FBI chief James Comey, concerning her entire email debacle, that lead seems to be shrinking rapidly. But let’s start at the beginning. When she was Secretary of State, Hillary decided to set up a private server in the basement of her residence in New York, to correspond by email. Which would have been fine if only private emails were conducted through those servers. (There were more than one server.) If the only thing being sent or received were recipes for chicken pot pie, or arrangements for daughter Chelsea’s upcoming wedding, etc., no scandal would have emerged. But Hillary, in reckless disregard for the reality of American politics, allowed emails concerning official State Department business to also be processed through those unprotected servers. Some of those emails supposedly contained highly classified information. Not only was this a clear violation of State Department protocols, but it created a situation whereby foreign enemies could have easily hacked into her servers and obtained that info.

It would have been one thing if Hillary was planning to retire from politics when she stepped down as Secretary of State. No one would have given this a second thought. But knowing that she had presidential aspirations, it was beyond recklessness to establish such an email arrangement. The first rule of politics is to never knowingly hand your opponents a weapon they can use against you in upcoming elections; and she deliberately handed the Republicans a beauty. As I’ve said, this is reckless in the extreme. Thus, when the GOP started a nonstop drum beat about Clinton’s unprotected private servers, the FBI was more or less forced to investigate. After a lengthy study, FBI Director Comey made a public announcement that while Clinton had been extremely careless and irresponsible, the FBI believed there were no grounds for criminal prosecution. This, of course didn’t stop GOP stalwarts from denouncing the FBI conclusion, or from wearing tee shirts with a “Hillary For Prison” pronouncement on them. Comey was routinely denounced as an Administration lackey by Republicans, while being lauded by Democrats for his honesty and objectivity. A collective sigh of relief was breathed at Democratic headquarters.

However, just 11 days before the nightmare election of 2016 would come to an end, Comey reversed course. He had obviously been taking too much heat from the Republican Congress and others on the right, to make living bearable. He, thus, announced that the FBI would re-open the Clinton email investigation based on new evidence that came to light. To make matters worse, this evidence, he stated,  consisted of thousands of newly discovered Clinton emails found on the computer of one Anthony Wiener, who is the spouse of one of Hillary’s closest associates.  The same former ex-congressman who is under investigation by the FBI for child pornography. Fresh emails, a disgraced ex-congressman, kiddie porn- all mixed together in the same narrative. It’s like one Republican congressman stated- “Christmas has arrived in October.”  Of course, at Democratic headquarters, there was nothing but panic and dismay as they watched Hillary’s lead in the polls begin to evaporate like the morning mist.

Being the pathetic rank amateurs that Democratic operatives usually are, they could come up with no better response to this sudden turn of events than denouncing Comey (who they had previously praised) and calling for a more detailed explanation of this new FBI initiative. No ringing protestation from Hillary that while she may have erred in judgement regarding her private servers, no laws were broken. No U.S. interests or security had been compromised, etc. That she was, by far, the better candidate. Of course Trump, who had denounced Comey’s previous decision to end the investigation, was now singing his praises to the roof. Thus is the day-to-day nature of politics. And people wonder why only half the eligible population shows up to cast a ballot for president on election day. Even less in an off year contest.

The reason that Republicans win  so many elections is not because they have a superior agenda. If anything, their platform appeals to the most narrow-minded of the U.S. populace. They reason they win, however, is that their campaigns are organized and run by political pros who actually know what they’re doing when playing the game of politics. While the Democrats have rank amateurs orchestrating their so-called political operations. It’s like a major league baseball team playing against a minor, bush league class AA team. So unless the Democrats can come up with another tape of Trump bellowing additional profanities, the election seems to be headed toward a GOP victory. With all its ensuing horrors.



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Political conventional wisdom dictates that when individuals decide to run for president, they swing far right ( for the GOP nomination), or far left (for the Democratic nomination), in order to appeal to the base voters in their respective parties. Then, once securing the nomination, they move back toward the middle, to seek the votes of moderates, independents, and undecided voters that don’t adhere to any particular ideology. But in 2016, Donald Trump has defied this supposed political theory. He did swing very far right in order to become the Republican presidential nominee. But once the GOP convention was over, he has gone even further right during the general campaign. He has doubled down on building that hideous monstrosity on the Mexican border that will become known as the Trump Wall. ( Although he has backed away from the ludicrous notion that Mexico would pay for such a wall.) He’s still asserting the policy of throwing all undocumented individuals out of the country, and refusing to allow Muslim refugees into the country. Reversing his previous positions, he has become anti-abortion, anti-immigration, and anti-free trade. He strongly advocates for trickle-down economics, as well as tax -cuts for the rich, while slashing government assistance to the poor, the sick, and the elderly. As well as for using “nukes” when he feels it’s necessary.

This calculated decision to go as far right as humanly possible is based on the assumption that he, Trump, can garner such a heavy white vote, especially among older white males, that it would more than offset black, Latino, Asian, Moslem, and other minority voters that will undoubtably vote heavily against him in the general election. An interesting theory, as white voters still comprise a major, although shrinking share of the electorate. Consider this election to be the last stand of white voters who fell the special privileges of being Caucasian in the U.S. is slipping away from them. And they’re very unhappy about that. There’s even a new book on the market, written by an extreme right-winger, called “The Angry White Male” that espouses and solidifies this political phenomena. As I’ve written previously, this “Whites Only” political thrust became reality when Trump decided that his overall campaign chief would be a guy named Steve Bannon. Who was previously affiliated with a neo-fascist group known as Breitbart News. It’s Bannon who’s directing this white majority campaign thrust; but it was Trump who hired him and decided on this direction in the first place. Trump, who used to be pro-choice, “but now has become anti-abortion for all of 15 minutes.” That last quote was from a column written by George Will, a conservative Republican newspaper pundit.

The last time a “whites only” reality existed in the U.S. was in the early 1970s, in the Jim Crow segregated South. There were “whites only” schools, lunch counters, bathrooms, water fountains, and every other public institution and facility that existed. When the federal government tried to intervene to break down these segregated barriers, Southern states began to howl that it was a question of “states rights” and the Feds had no business interfering in such matters. Eventually, sanity and human decency did prevail, as the walls of Jim Crow segregation finally started to crumble. But not before the lives of many black people and civil rights workers were lost along the way. And keep in mind that the Ku Klux Klan, the chief advocate for the segregated South and its practices, the murderer of many civil rights members, still exists to this day. And guess which candidate the KKK  is supporting, the one it says is their kind of guy.

But, to me, the most worrisome aspect of the 2016 campaign is who will have his or her fingers on the nuclear trigger. While our founding fathers wrote numerous “checks and balances” into the U.S. Constitution, it’s unfortunate that they couldn’t foresee a nuclear armed world. Hence there is no check on a U.S. president that wants to launch a nuclear attack against some perceived enemy. It is solely at his or her discretion. Bobby Knight, a former Indiana basketball coach, and an avid Trump supporter, has stated that with the election of Trump, “at least we’ll have someone in the White House that won’t be afraid to to drop a few nukes.” Trump, himself, has indicated he wouldn’t hesitate to launch nuclear missiles when called for. The world would never be the same. His election would put the nuclear trigger in the hands of an unhinged, deranged, pathological narcissist. Abuse his ego, and bammo.

Current polls show Clinton in the lead, with 2 weeks to go. But at this same time in the 2012 election, polls showed Mitt Romney headed for the winners circle, and we all know how well those predictions turned out. I prefer to check what odds the bookies are giving, because unlike the pollsters, the bookies have to put their money where their mouths are. The bookies are giving more favorable odds on Trump victory, meaning they expect Clinton to win. (One can actually bet the election on-line with bookies in England.) But there’s an unfortunate sense of over-confidence in the Clinton camp, which could prove disastrous. As it did to Mitt Romney in the last go-round.

Since I’m an old guy, there’s not much a Trump presidency can do to me these days. Even if the worst scenario occurs, at least I’ve had a life. (Some may view it as a so-called life.) But for you younger people out there, I would imagine that there would be oceans of worry, should the narcissist wind up sitting in the Oval Office on January 20, 2017.

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I have often wondered what it is in the human psyche that results in millions, or tens of millions, of people to enthusiastically and slavishly support some one as vile, vulgar and reprehensible as a Donald Trump. Some one who has openly put on daily display an astonishing array of non-stop mendacity, pathological narcissism, a bullying persona, a profound ignorance of world affairs, the most disgustingly lewd remarks affecting women, and a total dearth of anything resembling human compassion and empathy. The conclusion I’ve come to (which isn’t a pretty one), is that a large number of people out there cannot accept responsibility for the failings in their lives. If they’ve made some really bad choices in life it has to be the fault of others. If they can’t achieve a decent job or career, it’s because of those illegal Mexicans taking away their job opportunities. It couldn’t possibly be that they have failed to put in the time and effort necessary to attain marketable job skills. It has to be the illegals who comprise less than 3.5% of the U.S. populations and are usually employed in jobs most Americans won’t accept. Like performing gardening chores in blazingly hot 110 degree summers that we’re so familiar with in Las Vegas.

When you combine blaming others for the feelings of inadequacy one possesses, one has a bullying-type persona in the making. Nothing like searching for some one weaker to beat up on, in order to alleviate those nagging feelings of self-loathing. This creates the perfect world for the demagogue to step into and rile up the masses to his benefit. We all know how effectively and destructively demagoguery was used in the 20th century by the likes of Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Mao, Saddam Hussein, and others. Now we have our own, home-grown demagogue on the threshold of achieving absolute power. Besides all the inane, mendacious comments Trump has previously made, which I’ve chronicled in previous pieces, his latest ones show a cynical appetite for unprecedented recklessness. Send Hillary to jail because of her email fiasco, presumably without her Constitutional right to due process, is one of his more recent pronouncements.  The Trumpinistas at his rallies cry “Hillary for prison.” Blind, unthinking demagoguery. His latest rant is that the election is “rigged.” This gives Trump the best of two worlds. If he wins, he can say that he’s so magnificent that despite a rigged election system he was able to overcome. If he loses, he will say that he would have won but for the way the Democrats and the media conspired to deprive him of his earned victory. This will allow him grounds to challenge the election results well after November 8. Remember that the election really isn’t over until the Electoral College casts its vote.

One has to go back 60 years in American history, to the 1950s, to find another demagogue who built his fame by destroying others through a reckless disregard for truth and honesty. I’m talking about Joe McCarthy, affectionately called Tail-Gunner Joe, and the era of anti-communist hysteria the gripped America at that time. McCarthy’s fame and potential rise to dictatorship came from declaring that the U.S. government and many powerful institutions such as Hollywood, major corporations, and others  were riddled with Communists whose loyalty was solely to the old Soviet Union. He called hundreds of witnesses before his Senate committee, often declaring they were Communist spies or sympathizers, usually without a shred of evidence. Dozens of innocent lives were destroyed by McCarthy’s unfounded allegations in hearings before his Senate committee. Some committed suicide. McCarthy declared that if you disagreed with him you were obviously a Communist, a Commie sympathizer or a “Pinko.” He had an almost identical belligerent, bullying personality as Trump has today. But McCarthy traveled a bridge too far when he assailed the U.S.Army as being loaded with Communists. That led to the famous Army-McCarthy televised hearings, where, in response to McCarthy’s unfounded allegations, the Army’s counsel shouted out- “Have you no shame sir. Have you no shame.” Finally exposed for the fraud that he was, McCarthy began losing followers and started drinking heavily. By the late 1950s, McCarthy had drank himself to death.

So what would it take to expose today’s demagogue for the fraud he really is. Perhaps the knowledge of who’s behind the scene fueling his campaign. Trump has put this Kellyanne person with a pretty face on TV news channels as his campaign spokeswoman. But the real power behind the throne is a man named Steve Bannon, who definitely does not have a pretty face, but rather a sordid background. Bannon comes from a far right-wing fringe group known as Breitbart News that likes to dabble in extremist causes with overtones of fascism. His ex-wife has called him out for spousal abuse, and uttering anti-semitic statements. Its Bannon’s input that has led to Trump statements that “she has to go to jail.” Presumably, this would happen without a trial or due process were  Trump allowed to achieve his ultimate goal. Another power figure behind the scenes is Corey Lewandowski, who managed Trump’s 2012 campaign which based on being a “Birther,” i.e. claiming Barack Obama was really born in Kenya, and thus, was not a U.S. citizen. The fraudulence of that effort was exposed early on, and Trump had to call it quits. The fraudulence of Trump’s 2016 campaign, however, is still seeing the light of day.

The election is 3 weeks from today. Nothing less is at stake than whether the U.S. continues to function as a democratic republic, or becomes a fascist-type dictatorship. After all, appealing to the worst of society has paid off for ruthless tyrants many times in the past.

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Winston Churchill once proclaimed that the failings of democratic government can best be illustrated in a 5 minute conversation with the average voter. He also stated that democracy was the worst form of government except for any other that’s been ever tried. The election of 2016 in the United States is now proving just how true Churchill’s prophecies were. Two of the worst possible political candidates ever, were somehow (almost by magic) chosen to be their respective parties nominees. One will become president, to the future chagrin of the American populace. The public discourse has been cheapened, vulgarized and degraded beyond anyone’s imagination from where it was a mere decade ago. And, as the beat goes on, it will probably get even worse in the remaining month until election day, when it will finally, mercifully end.

Lets start with Trump’s lewd, vulgar and profane remarks caught on tape 11 years ago. The vile and demeaning manor in which he characterized women should come as no surprise to anyone who has been paying attention thus far. This is who he is, and I’m certain the he’s been offering similar remarks to people within earshot his entire adult life, including right up to the present. The fact that he was willing to offer such profane utterances while being taped, only further illustrates his supreme narcissism which I’ve written about many times previously. In the narcissistic world his ego inhabits, women are to be objectified as play things, and to be always available to satisfy the sexual needs of one so magnificent as he believes himself to be. One should ask the Trumpinistas still supporting his candidacy as to whether they truly want someone as deranged and unhinged as he shows himself to be, to have his fingers on the nuclear trigger.

Of course, the diehard Trumpinistas will never be persuaded to abandon their guy. It didn’t happen when Trump stated that Fox news host Megyn Kelly “had blood coming out of her whatever” during a contentious debate forum. It didn’t happen when Trump uttered the incoherent statement that he “likes people that weren’t captured” in reference to John McCain’s hellish 6 years as a prisoner of war in the infamous Hanoi Hilton. It didn’t happen when he accused Senator Ted Cruz’s father of abetting Lee Harvey Oswald in the assassination of John F. Kennedy. It didn’t happen when he defamed an American born judge because of his Hispanic heritage. And it sure as hell didn’t happen when he unleashed a torrent of verbal abuse against an American Moslem couple whose son had sacrificed his life fighting for the U.S. in one of the Iraqi wars. Even endorsements from Bikers of America (motorcycle gangs united) or the KKK has failed to dissuade any diehard Trump followers from supporting his candidacy.

Ergo, Trump supporters on right-wing whacko talk radio and Fox News are now defending their man by stating that his vile utterances are merely “locker room” talk that “real” men engage in from time-to-time. Well, in answer to that, let me say this. I’ve been going to the gym at least 5 days a week for over 20 years. It’s probably the main reason I’m still sucking in oxygen after spending over four-fifths of a century on this planet. It goes without saying that during these gym visits I spend a fair amount of time in the men’s locker, showering after my workout and such. Never once in over 20 years, however, have I heard a single discussion between any  men in the locker room using the type of verbiage that Trump uttered on that now infamous tape. Not once. As for myself it would be unthinkable to use such demeaning language under any circumstance when referring to a women or to any man for that matter.

I’m certainly not a paragon of virtue and I detest people who pretend to be holier-than-thou. But, I believe that I have too much self-respect to descend into such filthy, Trump-type degradation. I try to abide by the by what I consider the 3 cornerstones of life- honor, integrity and compassion. I believe if one lives according to those 3 principles, it’s a life worth living, no matter how bad a hand one may be dealt. And some people are dealt a very, very bad hand indeed, right from the beginning.  If, however, one becomes as totally narcissistic as Trump has allowed himself to be, honor and integrity are out the window, and compassion is totally an alien concept.

With such a flawed and demeaning Republican candidate, one would think that the Democratic opposition would be miles ahead at this point. Such is not the case, however, because Hillary Clinton is so damaged and scandal-ridden herself. Not only does she have self-inflicted wounds to contend with, like processing classified emails thru an unprotected server in the basement of her house; she also has to answer for husband Bill’s sordid philandering with various women in previous years. Like being caught between a rock and a hard place. So the race is still exceedingly close, and any number of factors could still swing it in Trump’s favor. Which would probably mean the end of the 240 year experiment in democracy still on-going in the U.S. Even with all its flaws as Winston Churchill so aptly described.

When he ran for president in 1988, George Bush The Elder, said that he looked forward to a “kinder, gentler world” with a “thousand points of light.” Now less than 30 years later, it’s remarkable how far we’ve gone in the opposite direction. Into a vile, coarse, vulgarized  world as we continue to slide down unabated, into the slimy rabbit hole of mud and filth. Bush, the Elder, by the way, now in his 90s, said he was voting for Hillary Clinton.


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In “Macbeth” Shakespeare wrote that: “Life is a tale told by an idiot…full of sound and  fury, signifying nothing.” Now, centuries later, the 2016 political campaign for the presidency of the U.S. is unfolding with the same absurdity as Shakespeare had described in his theater production of “Macbeth.” It has degenerated into a low art form of theater with various characters, besides the two main actors, playing out their various and highly predictable roles  on center stage. For example, you have characters such as Rudy Giuliani and Chris Christie, who heretofore had fairly decent political reputations, but are now forced to pick up Trump’s dry-cleaning by twisting themselves into pretzels in trying to explain away each of Trumps incredibly moronic statements, uttered every time his ego becomes abused. Other players include the political pundits on the various TV news stations who analyze to death, every meaningless piece of drivel uttered by the theater production’s two main actors.

Of course, the highlight of this theater of the absurd is the debate performances between the two staring candidates. The first presidential debates go back to to the campaign of 1860 between Republican nominee Abraham Lincoln and Democrat Stephan Douglass. The primary topic of the day at that time was slavery. Presidential debates then fell out of favor for a century, until the advent of a television set being common in almost everyone’s home resurrected them in 1960. Now, everyone could watch the candidates perform from the comfort of their living rooms, and theater of the absurd was thus born. In 1960 the contest was between Richard Nixon and John Kennedy. Interestingly, those that watched the debate on TV felt that Kennedy had given the stronger performance; while those that listened on the radio believed that Nixon had prevailed. The reason- Kennedy’s handsome, charismatic persona had won out over Nixon’s rather drab looking appearance, while on the radio Nixon’s delivery appeared so much more reasonable than Kennedy’s. Since more people watched the debate on TV than listened to it on the radio, Kennedy won the election by the narrowest of margins. After he  was sworn in Kennedy stated that if he accomplished nothing else, he had saved the country from a Richard Nixon. As it turned out, however, he had merely delayed it.

So last week we had the first of three presidential debates, with a mind-boggling 84 million people tuning in to watch this theater performance. As if they would learn anything new that hadn’t been repeated hundreds of previous times. But it was showtime, and the show must go on. Trump started off predictably strong, hurling every malady the Universe has ever known as being caused by the Obama Administration, and Hillary Clinton in particular. But somewhere during Clinton’s other wise drab performance, she managed to toss a few good zingers where it hurt Trump the most- in his ego. Being the supreme narcissist that I’ve previously written about, Trump could not let this effrontery go unanswered, and thus went off script and began to lose it. The debate then degenerated into such pressing issues as to whether Trump had called a former Miss Universe who had gotten fat, Miss Piggy. Certainly one of the most immediate and urgent problems of the day on the minds of most of the American populace. It went downhill for Trump from that point on, and Clinton was generally declared the debate winner in contest where the bar is set exceedingly low. If there is such a thing as a winner when watching the theater of the absurd.

The next day, of course, all the political pundits sallied forth to verbalize their views of what was said that shouldn’t have, and what wasn’t said that should have. There was a general consensus on the Trump side that he should have brought up Bill Clinton’s sexual proclivities, and Trump has promised to do just that for the second debate. Why bother watching when you know in advance what the main characters will pontificate on. And, as if the fact that Bill Clinton couldn’t keep his zipper shut is, in any way, germane to the world we live in in 2016. Nevertheless, the name of the game is how much mud one candidate can sling at the other, and how much of it will stick. By all means, never discuss in the theater of the absurd, the actual problems and issues affecting large numbers of people on a daily basis.

The current polls show that the election is extremely close, almost a dead heat. As I’ve written before, in such cases the outcome is usually decided by the people that don’t bother to vote versus those that do. For example, in 2008 and 2012, large numbers of Democrats were motivated to turn out to elect Barack Obama as president. But in the 2010 and 2014 congressional elections, many Democrats stayed home on election day, and Republicans overwhelmingly swept those contests. So, in the end it all comes down to who will show up at the ballot box. There is one other factor that should also be considered.

Current polls also show that about 5% of eligible voters are still undecided. Hard to believe after all the shenanigans that have already taken place. My theory is that these are the same people that wait until about 11:pm on April 15 to go rushing down to the post office to file their income tax returns. In other words, these are people who, by their very nature,  hate making decisions or taking required actions until the bitter end. In the 1980 race between Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter, the polls also showed a virtual tie, until the final week when the undecideds for some inexplicable reason, broke for Reagan and he won in a landslide. A dismal viewer of the current landscape might believe the Universe has the same perverse fate in store, not only for the U.S., but the entire planet, by having the undecideds break for Trump.

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