nixon resigns newspaper

Stop with the “Impeachment” Thing Already

impeach trump sign protestIf you’re like me, every news headline I read upon awakening makes it more likely I want to stay in bed.  There is no objective and rational person that can be happy with the Trump Administration.  Yes, I know over 80% of Republicans have consistently approved of Trump’s performance since his inauguration.  But I did say “objective and rational.”

Forget about “draining the swamp.”  Donald Trump has created a toxic dump right in the middle of Washington.    Among his achievements so far:

That’s not even including his illegal attempt to ban already-vetted Muslims from entering the country.  He claims all these policy disasters are consistent with the campaign promises he made and on which he was elected.  Well, he also campaigned on the destruction of ISIS by a plan to be developed in 30-days:

We are over 30 days since inauguration and Republican President Trump hasn’t mentioned a single word of his plan being complete and ready for implementation.

Go figure.

So let’s assume that you aren’t a Republican and therefore agree with me that Trump sucks and shouldn’t be elected as a Hall Monitor let alone President.

impeach obamaBut, please, stop talking impeachment.  That’s the surest way to exhaust yourself and, paradoxically, allow a longer time in office for Trump and his allies.  Impeachment only means that the House tells the Senate to put the President on trial.  In fact, 2 Presidents have been impeached:  Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton.  In both cases the Senate decided not to remove them from office.

So, impeachment doesn’t mean removal from office.

Especially in the present case.  A 2/3 super-majority vote in the Senate (66 votes) is required to convict and remove the President from office.  The present Senate couldn’t even get a simple majority (51 votes) to defeat the supremely unqualified Betsy DeVos from assuming the Secretary of Education Cabinet position.

impeach bush gwbSo just stop it.  Wishing for impeachment is a super-waste of time and energy.  While it’s true that Trump has created a Superfund site of anti-American values, there won’t be an EPA to oversee its clean-up.  We’ll need another plan.

Besides, Trump isn’t the real problem.  The real problem is the Republicans in Congress.  They, after all, write the laws and know how to play the Washington game.  They also know how to play the public relations game far more effectively than the newbies in the Trump Administration.

They know how to make the Trump chaos palatable to their political base.

However, they are also more vulnerable than Trump.  You have more access to them.  It takes less money to defeat them.  And many are up for re-election in 2018.

Destroy the Republicans in Congress and Trump is left neutered.

impeach reagan buttonAnd it will be necessary to destroy the Republicans.  They are a weaponized political party.  When the Tea Party screamed at Democrats in 2010 about hypothetical  death panels, the Democrats didn’t make protesting illegal.  When the public is screaming at Republicans about actual repeal  of the Affordable Care Act (aka ACA aka Obamacare), suddenly Republicans are tone-policing and making government protest practically illegal.

To make America great again, we will need to remove the present GOP from the nation’s political stage.

So, let’s review:

  1. Trump sucks.
  2. Congressional Republicans suck.
  3. Impeachment nearly impossible.
  4. Republicans vulnerable.

We should therefore focus our attention on someone  from Congress whom we can do something about:  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.  He is more vulnerable than he appears.

Ready to go after a domestic enemy?  I’ll be back soon with more.
nixon bumper sticker

Baby, It’s Cold Inside


[snow job]
Have you seen this video of Lady Gaga and Joseph Gordon-Levitt?  It purports to involve a seduction.

“Baby, It’s Cold Outside” is a duet written in 1944 and has all the sexual baggage you might assume from that era.  Especially when interpreted in ours.  The “mouse” (as written in the score) or “prey” (as some might interpret the situation today) wants to go home but the “wolf” (then) or “predator” (now) tries to get the mouse to stay.  And it’s pretty obvious why the wolf is a concern troll about the weather outside.

You can have a lot of fun at your next holiday party by asking whether this song is about a coy mouse that really wants to play or a predator that is about to commit date rape.

But that’s not what is at issue here.  Let’s assume that any singer who performs the song is not trying to enable or justify bad behavior.  After all, we humans don’t always say exactly what’s on our minds (did he really just write that?) since we are really social animals constantly trying to balance our own desires with what we think the herd expects from us (oh my God, he did just write that!).  So when you can corral feminists like Miss Piggy to sing this tune (albeit as the wolf), it’s safe to claim that for many, even the highly sensitive, the song’s charms are about examining us humans as odd creatures whose words – despite being literal – cannot always be taken literally.

Which brings us to the hammy performance above (Lady Gaga, not Miss Piggy).  It’s cute to reverse the traditional gender roles and place Lady Gaga in the role of the wolf.  This gives the song a bit of an update.  If we went further and made Lady Gaga’s duet partner the très féminin Miss Piggy (remember, this is a “Muppet Holiday Spectacular”), you’d update things even more.  And convince the righteous religious that Hollywood really is pushing the idea of inter-species matrimony.  (Another light topic for your next holiday party.)

Playing it safe, however, the producers hired Joseph Gordon-Levitt for the role of the mouse.  To be fair, he isn’t known as a singer, but I’ll give Gordon-Levitt (and the producers) a pass here.  To make the song work, it’s more important for us to believe that Lady Gaga wants to make beautiful music with him rather than actually have Lady Gaga make beautiful music with him.  I can even make allowances for Gordon-Levitt singing the line “my father will be pacing the floor” – which should have been rewritten to have any hope of dramatic credibility.  (Mothers will worry regardless.)

So what is the problem with the video?  It’s that our divine Miss Gaga is racing through the song.  Trying to swing, rather than sway, Gordon-Levitt.  In short (she’s only 5 feet 1 inch), Lady Gaga isn’t seducing like a man.  More like a teenaged boy.

Some things, like ketchup and the DMV, simply can’t be rushed.

Yes, I know this is a broadcast television holiday special tied to the Muppets.  Sure, the viewers represent a wide demographic but isn’t it possible to talk to two audiences at the same time?  Gentle subtlety is, after all, the point of the song.  Besides, since the children are already hearing the lyric “say, what’s in this drink?” we might as well hint that no one is trying to poison anyone to death.

Which is a more appropriate topic for the Brothers Grimm anyway.

So let’s recouple the andante back with the pantie.  Uptempo is not the rhythm of seduction.  Here’s an example of one slow wolf, who could easily swing with the groove of Ray Charles, demonstrating this exact point.  Enjoy the cochlear cleansing:

One State, Two States, Red States, Blue States

federal employees by state

Red States contain the most Federal employees per capita (click on graph to enlarge)

[gone fishin’]
The people most concerned about the size of the federal government apparently live in the states that are most employed by it.  Which means the people who are cheering the federal government shutdown the loudest are likely the ones with the most to lose.  If a picture is worth 1000 words, then this graph is worth 800,000 furloughed jobs (and counting).

Christmas in August: Todd Akin and Jujutsu

George C Scott as Ebenezer Scrooge

Ghost of Christmas Present: If these shadows remain unaltered by the future, none other of my species will find him here. But if he is to die, then let him die…and decrease the surplus population!

Ebenezer Scrooge: You use my own words against me?

Ghost of Christmas Present: Yes! So perhaps, in the future, you will hold your tongue until you have discovered where the surplus population is and who it is. It may well be that, in the sight of Heaven, you are more worthless and less fit to live than millions like this poor man’s child.

[stupid is as stupid does]
Nearly 30% of Americans believe the Sun goes around the Earth.  This must be distinctly understood, or nothing wonderful can come of the story I am going to relate.  (And for the those who believe the superiority of European culture over Americans, please note that 1 in 3 members of the EU believe the same erroneous thing.  And for those of you reading this who believe the Sun goes around the Earth, please note that 1 in 3 is a higher percentage than 30%.)

Now, if this scientifically illiteracy is distinctly understood, you will understand why political campaigns look the way they do.  And why?

Because, sure, people want to claim they base their political choices on facts and rational judgements.  But, the truth is: they don’t.  And why?

Because a sizable portion of the population is stupid.

I wish there were another way to state it.  I am, after all, part of the home team on this planet.  Remember that wacky uncle everyone tries to avoid on holiday gatherings?  He’s like these people who have seemed to missed the last 450 years of scientific observations.  Hell, even the Pope has come clean on the heliocentric theory and apologized about the tiff the Church had with Galileo’s promotion of it — albeit about 400 years too late.  Then again, this was just a “theory” after all.  How was the Pope to know it meant it was a fact?  (Psssst!  Evolution is a theory, too.  Just like Gravity.)

Unfortunately, these stupid people, who believe the Sun goes around the Earth, can help decide elections.  More on these morons in a moment.

The art of jujitsu is based on the idea that the best offense is to use your opponent’s offense against him.  Why use your own energy when your opponent’s will do?  In politics, this maneuver is much more difficult than it looks.  But if you are part of the Democratic party in a state that is rather conservative, you need to be good at it to survive.  Sen Claire McCaskill is a Democrat in Missouri — a Red State based on the way it swung in the past 4 presidential elections (it went against Pres Obama in 2008).

You better believe Sen McCaskill understands the politics of dancing.  She couldn’t still be in the dance hall otherwise. Her Senate seat is being competed this year and there were an array of Republicans eager to (a) win the primary in the hopes of (b) gaining her seat.

What did Sen McCaskill do in response?  Like all good politicians, she learned from history.  And history says Continue Reading