Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Lesser of two evils? Not this time

Is it my imagination or has criticism of Hillary Clinton increased since Ted Cruz and John Kasich dropped out of the Repuglican nomination campaign?

In just a quick look at CNN's Web page, in big type with breaking news logo we learn that Donald Trump thinks John Kasich can help and Ben Carson will lead the search for Trump's vice president. Why are either of those breaking news? Also that Bernie Sanders can't win. Hillary Clinton? Who? Nowhere in sight. Oh, wait: Somebody named Kaine suggested as her running mate.

Repuglicans did this to themselves and to the American people. After years of failing to do their jobs in Congress, obstructing every move by a popular president and attacking every effort to maintain or improve conditions affecting the least fortunate of America's citizens, it had to reach a breaking point where people would strike back. 

Unfortunately striking back did not turn to support of viable leaders put forth by the Democrats, but the elevation of a racist, ignorant bully to a likely candidate for president. Even Republicans want a change, out with these do-nothing obstructionists and bring in a fresh face who challenges the present situation.  And it is a sad state of affairs when that party could not put forth one candidate who might actually be able to lead and govern to oppose the buffoon it now looks like they are going to nominate for the highest office in the land which also elevates him to the world stage, representing you and me around the globe. Do we really want to see an American president telling Angela Merkel, "you're fired?"

And a day after that became obvious with elevation of Donald Trump to the status of presumptive winner, the press is full of Trumpisms unchallenged by anyone while all the tired old criticisms of Hillary Clinton have been dragged out again. The emails, Benghazi, Arkansas are dusted off and displayed again, unsuccessful attempts to discredit her, while Trump's racism, business bankruptcies, bullying, threats of war, walls on the Mexican border are reported as if any of his ignorant rants were credible positions for a sitting president.

And do you know what the criticism and suspicions of her are all about? Like the cloud that obscured racist comments about Barack Obama, in the background of all the Hillary criticism is the fact that she is a woman. Not only that, she is one is who instead of being the "little woman," she has played politics with the big boys and has come out on top. Men and women alike are suspicious of her because she does the same things as men do in politics only it is not as roundly approved of or at least forgiven because of her sex, so those qualities which bring success for men in politics are reason for criticism and distrust of a woman who plays by the same rules.

Do a little research into where these charges and criticism come from. Most are from a decades long campaign by Republicans to discredit the Clintons, a campaign politically motivated in recent years to prevent Hillary from gaining the presidency. Case in point, the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives who loudly advocated the impeachment of Bill Clinton over a blow job is now in prison for fondling little boys. Or maybe look at the freshman representative who forced endless hearings on Benghazi and admitted it was all about discrediting Hillary. Even the Pentagon has told him to shut up. But the Republicans cling to the Nixonian paradigm: tell a lie often enough and it becomes the truth. The sad truth is it continues to be effective, having generated even in what is supposed to be the responsible press, constant criticism of Hillary on the same old tired complaints. (That Nixonian note actually goes back to Nazi propagandist Hermann Goering. Godwin effect, you know. Can't write a political piece without it.)

In the modern era of free-wheeling unsubstantiated reporting across the media spectrum almost anything that shows up as a meme on social media after millions of views and shares becomes truth. Fact-checking sites like Snopes can't begin to keep up.

Bernie Sanders is the one candidate in this year's field I like the best. But, then I have been a radical since the 60s. To tell the truth I was a little dismayed when he entered the race, because to my mind I wanted to see Hillary have a clear path to the nomination with universal support from within the party. But over time reading about Sanders led me in that direction and he would be my choice of all of them for president. That doesn't mean thinking any less of Hillary Clinton. I was horrified when Trump entered the primary process but discounted him thinking the American people are intelligent enough to see through him and figured he would fade by this time. I should have known better. Now what's vital is not so much nominating Sanders or Clinton as is unifying the voters behind whoever wins the nomination in order to put a stop to the Trump idiocy and, down the line, break the Republican hold on Congress.

Over the years I've often thought I had to vote for the lesser of two evils. Not this time. While Bernie Sanders' progressive agenda is the most appealing, it would be difficult to name another president who came to the office more experienced and better qualified than Hillary Clinton. Two terms as an active first lady, two terms as a U.S. senator and another term as secretary of State is an enviable record for anyone aspiring to the presidency. So, while to my mind the most important aspect of this election is to break the strangle hold obstructionists have held on the government, either one of the two would be more than satisfactory as president of the United States, and certainly better than the probable Republican alternative.

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Interesting quotations

· " “Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.” — Ernest Hemingway

When I write, I feel like an armless, legless man with a crayon in his mouth. Kurt Vonnegut

“If you wrote something for which someone sent you a cheque, if you cashed the cheque and it didn't bounce, and if you then paid the light bill with the money, I consider you talented.” Stephen King

The thing about ignornance is, you don't have to remain ignorant. — me again"

Never debate with someone who gets ink by the barrel" — George Hayes, former Alaska Attorney General who died recently

My dear Mr. Frost: two roads never diverge in a yellow wood. Three roads meet there. — @Shakespeareon Twitter

"The mark of a great shiphandler is never getting into situations that require great shiphandling," Adm. Ernest King, USN

Me: Does the restaurant have cute waitresses?

My friend Gail: All waitresses are cute when you're hungry.

I'm not a writer, but sometimes I push around words to see what happens. – Scott Berry

“The rivers of Alaska are strewn with the bones of men who made but one mistake” - Fred McGarry, a Nushagak Trapper

Many people hear voices when no one is there. Some of them are called mad and are shut up in rooms where they stared at walls all day. Others are called writers and they do pretty much the same thing. – Meg Chittenden

A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity. – Franz Kafka

We are all immortal until the one day we are not. – me again

If the muse is late, start without her – Peter S. Beagle

Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. ~Mark Twain Actually you could do the same thing with the word "really" as in "really cold."

If you are looking for an experience that will temper your vanity, this is it. There's no one to impress when you're alone on the trap line. – Michael Carey quoting his father's journal

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. – Benjamin Franklin

It’s nervous work. The state you need to write in is the state that others are paying large sums of money to get rid of. – Shirley Hazzard

So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence -- Bertrand Russell

You know that I always just wanted to have a small ship to take stuff from a place that had a lot of that stuff to a place that did not have a lot of that stuff and so prosper.—Jackie Faber, “The Wake of the Lorelei Lee”

If you attack the arguer instead of the argument, you lose both

If an insurance company won’t pay for damages caused by an “act of God,” shouldn’t it then have to prove the existence of God? – I said that

I used to think getting old was about vanity—but actually it’s about losing people you love. Getting wrinkles is trivial. – Eugene O’Neill

German General to Swiss General: “You have only 500,000 men in your army; what would you do if I invaded with 1 million men?”

Swiss General: “Well, I suppose every one of my soldiers would need to fire twice.”

Writing is the only thing that when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.—Gloria Steinem

Exceed your bandwidth—sign on the wall of the maintenance shop at the West Coast/Alaska Tsunami Warning Center

One thing I do know, if you keep at it, you usually wind up getting something done.—Patricia Monaghan

Do you want to know what kind of person makes the best reporter? I’ll tell you. A borderline sociopath. Someone smart, inquisitive, stubborn, disorganized, chaotic, and in a perpetual state of simmering rage at the failings of the world.—Brett Arends

It is a very simple mind that only knows how to spell a word one way.—Andrew Jackson

3:30 is too late or too early to do anything—Rene Descartes

Everything is okay when it’s 50-below as long as everything is okay. – an Alaskan in Tom Walker’s “The Seventymile Kid”

You can have your own opinion but you can’t have your own science.—commenter arguing on a story about polar bears and global warming

He looks at three ex wives as a good start—TV police drama

Talkeetna: A friendly little drinking town with a climbing problem.—a handmade bumper sticker

“You’re either into the wall or into the show”—Marco Andretti on giving it all to qualify last at the 2011 Indy 500

Makeup is not for the faint of heart—the makeup guerrilla

“I’m going to relax in a very adult manner.”—Danica Patrick after sweating it out and qualifying half an hour before Andretti

“Asking Congress to come back is like asking a mugger to come back because he forgot your wallet.”—a roundtable participant on Fox of all places

As Republicans go further back in the conception process to define when life actually begins, I am beginning to think the eventual definition will be life begins in the beer I was drinking when I met her.—me again

Hunting is a “critical element for the long-term conservation of wood bison.”—a state department of Fish and Game official explaining why the state would not go along with a federal plan to reintroduce wood bison in Alaska because the agreement did not specifically allow hunting

Each day do something that won’t compute – anon

I can’t belive I still have to protest this shit – a sign carriend by an elderly woman at an Occupy demonstration

Life should be a little nuts or else it’s just a bunch of Thursdays strung together—Kevin Costner as Beau Burroughs in “Rumor has it”

You’re just a wanker whipping up fear —Irish President Michael D. Higgins to a tea party radio announcer

Being president doesn’t change who you are; it reveals who you are—Michelle Obama

Things sports announcers say

"… there's a fearlessment about him …"

"He's got to have the lead if he's going to win this race."

"Kansas has always had the ability to score with the basketball."

"NFL to put computer chips in balls." Oh, that's gotta hurt.

"Now that you're in the finals you have to run the race that's going to get you on the podium."

"It's very important for both sides that they stay on their feet."

This is why you get to hate sportscasters. Kansas beats Texas for the first time since 1938. So the pundits open their segment with the question "let's talk about what went wrong." Wrong? Kansas WON a football game! That's what went RIGHT!

"I brought out the thermostat to show you how cold it is here." Points to a thermometer reading zero in Minneapolis.

"It's tough to win on the road when you turn the ball over." Oh, really? Like you can do all right if you turn the ball over playing at home?

Cliches so imbedded in sportscasters' minds they can't help themselves: "Minnesota fell from the ranks of the undefeated today." What ranks? They were the only undefeated team left.

A good one: A 5'10" player went up and caught a pass off a defensive back over six feet tall. The quote? "He's got some hops."

Best homonym of the day so far: "It's all tied. Alabama 34, Kentucky 3." Oh, Tide.

"Steve Hooker commentates on his Olympic pole vault gold medal." When "comments" just won't do.

"He's certainly capable of the top ten, maybe even higher than that."

"Atlanta is capable of doing what they're doing."

"Biyombo, one of seven kids from the Republic of Congo." In the NBA? In America? In his whole country?

"You can't come out and be aggressive but you can't come out and be unaggressive."

"They're gonna be in every game they play!"

"First you have to get two strikes on the hitter before you get the strikeout."

"The game ended in the final seconds." You have to wonder when the others ended or are they still going on?

How is a team down by one touchdown before the half "totally demoralized?"

"If they score runs they will win."

"I think the matchup is what it is"

After a play a Houston defender was on his knees, his head on the ground and his hand underneath him appeared to clutch a very sensitive part of the male anatomy. He rolled onto his back and quickly removed his hand. (Remember the old Cosby routine "you cannot touch certain parts of your body?") Finally they helped the guy to the sideline and then the replay was shown. In it the guy clearly took a hard knee between his thighs. As this was being shown, one of the announcers says, "It looks like he hurt his shoulder." The other agrees and then they both talk about how serious a shoulder injury can be. Were we watching the same game?

"Somebody is going to be the quarterback or we're going to see a new quarterback."

"If you're gonna play running back in the SEC you're gonna take hits."

"That was a playmaker making a play."

Best headlines ever

Sister hits moose on way to visit sister who hit moose.

Man loses his testicles after attempting to smoke weed through a SCUBA tank

Church Mutual Insurance won't cover Church's flood damage because it's 'an act of God'

Homicide victims rarely talk to police

Meerkat Expert Attacked Monkey Handler Over Love Affair With Llama Keeper

GOP congressman opposes gun control because gay marriage leads to bestiality

Owner of killer bear chokes to death on sex toy

Support for legalizing pot hits all-time high

Give me all your money or my penguin will explode

How zombie worms have sex in whale bones

Crocodile steals zoo worker's lawn mower

Woman shot by oven while trying to cook waffles

Nude beach blowjob jet ski fight leads to wife's death

Woman stabs husband with squirrel for not buying beer Christmas Eve