Wednesday, March 30, 2016

On the Politics of Punishing Aborting Mothers

While Donald Trump was on a MSNBC Hardball Townhall with Chris Matthews, made some extraordinary ejaculations about abortion.  Pro-Lifers have been chary about Trump's recent conversion to being against abortion, especially as the Manhattan mogul had labeled himself as being "very pro-choice" in the past.  Moreover, Trump continues to speak highly of Planned Parenthood's contributions to womens' health during Republican debates, even after the Center for Medical Progress' investigative videos implicating Planned Parenthood Clinics trafficking baby body parts for sale and altering abortions to get the most optimal harvest.

Well, Mr. Trump may have overcompensated to ingratiate  himself with pro-life Republican voters for the Wisconsin Primary.  When Chris Matthews pressed Trump about the consequences of banning abortions, Trump proposed that women having abortions should suffer some sort of legal penalty for incurring an illegal abortion (but men would be alright).

More than just wanting to punish women for having abortions, Trump seemed to acknowledge that women would still seek out illegal abortions in unmonitored clinics. 

The public reaction to Trump's "modest proposal" was a swift and stern firestorm. The Hillary 2016 and Sanders campaigns immediately jumped on Trump's bold bluster to condemn this ham handed handling of womens' issues.  On social media, a Dominican Friar indignity opined that those who wish to punish women for having abortions have no idea about their psychological or moral pain he hears about in the confessional.

The Trump campaign twice tried to walk their man from off the abortion ledge. At first, Trump spokesperson Hope Hicks tried to pawn decision making of penalties off to the states.  But several hours after uttering this incredible idea, Trump took the counsel of his advisers and did an about face, walked back the punishing aborting mothers' idea to a more conventional Republican pro-life position of punishing the doctor and seeing the woman as a victim.

CNN noted that Trump took three abortion positions in one afternoon.   Former 2016 Presidential rival and now Trump surrogate Dr. Ben Carson explained away Trump's peculiar position on punishing abortion women.  Carson claimed that Trump (like himself) is not a professional politician and that he had been ambushed with the question. Judging from the three positions in a span of hours, Trump either had not thought much about the issue or needed to have some political sense knocked into him for the primary face offs.

This Trump gaffe created an opening for his Republican rival Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) to issue a statement on the sanctity of human life and on affirming women.

Ted Cruz on the Sanctity of Life
In addition, Cruz had a previously scheduled rally to honor women on the same day of the abortion kerfluffle.

While Presidential candidates should not pick their positions on weighty moral issues on the weather vane of popular opinion, it is dubious if Trump's flip flops on abortion will help him with women voters.  According to the recent Marquette Law poll, Trump's support from women lagged 11% behind men.  Threatening to punish women for abortions will obviously alienate him with progressive voters who are pro-choice.  However, flip flopping on anti-abortion views within hours of each other impeaches his newly formed pro-life positions too.

Socrates on Slander

Socrates on Slander

Bertrand Russell on Life

Bertrand Russell on Life

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Scott Walker Endorses Ted Cruz

A week before the crucial Republican Wisconsin primary, Governor Scott Walker called into WTMJ AM's Charlie Sykes program to endorse Senator Ted Cruz for President.

Wisconsin is important in the GOP primary process, as it is a winner-take-all state at a time in which Donald Trump needs to convincingly win delegates to lock up the Republican nomination.  If Trump fails to win in the Badger State, it is increasingly likely that the GOP will have a contested convention in Cleveland.

Governor Walker withdrew from the 2016 Republican Presidential field in September 2015, well before any ballots were cast. This may be attributable to running a prematurely bloated campaign, lackluster debate performances and wanting to clear the field so Republicans could elect a conservative. Walker obviously had animus against Donald Trump's campaign, as Walker lamented how the 2016 campaign had devolved into personal attacks.

However, Governor Walker's full throated endorsement of Cruz for President is noteworthy for his commitment.  Walker is a youthful politician with a bright future.  And there are no term limits for  Cheesehead Governors. Walker won three gubernatorial elections in four years (including the 2012 recall election).  If Walker endorsement translates to a resounding victory for Cruz in the Wisconsin primary, Walker vaults back into the 2016 GOP Election cycle.  

If Walker's endorsement is seen as turning point in the primaries, Walker would be a hero to conservatives by preventing an unprincipled populist enough delegates for a first ballot nomination victory.  If Cruz is able to win the nomination (even in a contested convention second ballot), Walker can be seen as Kingmaker and Cruz may feel compelled to reward him as a running mate, along with his virtues of geographical balance, outsider appeal and reputation to fight progressives (along with his sizable donors list). It is akin to Florida in 2008 when former Governor Charlie Crist (FL- R-I-D) late endorsement of Senator John McCain vaulting his prospects, without the orange tan and RINO tendencies. 

But in the event that the GOP Cleveland Convention becomes deadlocked, Walker becomes an attractive alternative choice. Walker could appeal to evangelicals, conservatives, populists, angry "Reagan Democrats".  Walker can rightly claim that he is an outsider, with a track record of accomplishments and who has fought political correctness and unions and won. Walker dropped out because of needless name calling, so he has not alienated large segments of the party. 

On Campaigns Circulating Sleaze

During the Easter weekend, there was sturm und drang over a racy National Enquirer hit piece on Republican Presidential hopeful Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) which alleged that he had five mistresses.  This was a curious charge as Cruz detractors had previously pushed perspectives that Cruz was an earnest evangelical political geek with no game.  Now we are to believe that Cruz was the ultimate player, juggling call girls, co-workers and teachers. Right (sarc).

If one looks more closely at the tabloid sensationalism on Cruz, there are some telltale signs of a political hit piece. The National Enquirer could not get any of the accusers to publicly step forward. However, the graphics showed five women with eyes blocked out.  One of the alleged victims outed by the National Enquirer was Katrina Pierson, the Trump national campaign spokesman.  Curiouser and curiouser.

Katrina Pierson did  work on Cruz' 2012 Senate campaign.  But Pierson developed a reputation of being an erratic spotlight seeker who had a grudge that the Texas Senator would not endorse Pierson in her bid to unseat Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX 32nd) in the 2014 primaries. Kind of convenient for an anti-Cruz activist to sidle herself with Trump and be exploited in an adulterous allegation.

Another supposed victim of Cruz's infidelity "cruising" based on National Enquirer photos is Amanda Carpenter, Cruz's former Senate Press Secretary and political pundit who supports Ted Cruz. There have been loads of libelous innuendo and accusations launched against Carpenter.  Carpenter eviscerated an on camera ambush by Trump surrogate Adriana Cohen on CNN. But that has not stopped Trump trolls on social media from smearing Carpenter.  It must be another isolated incident of spurious slut shaming by Trump types.

A third mythical mistress of Cruz was said to have ties to Carly Fionina's campaign and previously worked for Mitt Romney.  This allowed Trump-eteers to claim that Fiorina was bought off in a "sweetheart deal" and Fiorina's support was tainted. 

While Trump claims that he did not start this rumor but it was "little" Marco Rubio's henchmen, that isn't the whole story.  It's true that this Cruz affair allegation had been shopped to the media for months, no one bit because it was preposterous. Yet when Trump started sagging in the polls, Trump's good buddy National Enquirer CEO David Pecker, decided to push the piece.  Hence the Twitter hashtag #TrumpLovesPecker which went viral on Good Friday.

[L] GOP Presidential Hopeful Donald Trump [R] National Enquirer CEO David Pecker 

Trump tried his modus operendi of being the paralepsis politician who brings up scandal allegations by others and hopes that they are not true, while simultaneously spotlighting the smear.  This time, the lamestream media, who have been pandering to the Trump chaos circus for huge ratings and picking a weak GOP nominee, isn't playing along like normal.  Meet the Press host Chuck Todd noted that Trump seemed more likely to have planted the story than any truth to the charge on Cruz.

What is really curious that Trump types seize upon infidelity allegations against Cruz when their dear leader has bragged about his many affairs with married women as well as his misogynistic musings. 

Some Trump supporters  have bragged about how Trump will redefine culture.  This is manifest in championing political incorrectness and political pugnaciousness. But the attempted troll party takeover of the GOP seems to be more than just about anger and animus against progressivism. There are overtones of the politics of personal destruction and intimidation against opponents. Celebrating campaigns circulating sleeze is seeking power without principle and it epitomizes much of what is objectionable about Trump's campaign.

Abraham Lincoln on Character

Abraham Lincoln on Character

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Benjamin Watson Raven (sic) About ISIS

Baltimore Ravens TE Benjamin Watson on ISIS

ESPN Sports Cuban Propaganda

One of the reasons why sports is a popular pastime among Americans is because it has tended to be non-partisan. It is news which mentally reconnects aged athletes back to their glory days, while stoking local loyalties and friendly rivalries and forgetting the tumult of news from the "real world".

Unfortunately, the trend in the media has been to politicize everything, including sports news.  More than seeing sports through a lens of political correctness, the sports media has segued into political propaganda. 

A case in point was a ESPN Sportscenter social media sharing in regards to President Barack Obama's visit to Cuba after 55 years of bilateral hostility.

ESPN authorized a Tweet which whitewashed the brutality of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro's communist regime by promoting propaganda that Fidel was a sports fan. 

After a couple of hours of consternation, ESPN withdrew the post, but the damage was done by humanizing the despot. One of the reasons that Cubans believe that they won their long standoff with the United States is because of Fidel's romancing the American press. 

It may be true that Fidel is a big sports fan.  Fidel even yearned to play for the Yanquis in his youth. But ESPN featuring such factoids during a controversial trip to Cuba by President Barack Obama amounts to propaganda. Mr. Obama will remain in Havana to see a Tampa Bay Rays baseball game rather than return to Washington after the coordinated Brussels terror attacks. 

To give a truer picture of the sporting Castro, it is important to understand how Fidel Castro used sports as a weapon to enforce his communist ideology.

A more accurate picture of Fidel Castro's sporting sense is captured by hitting the links with the bloody revolutionary Che Guevara. 

[L] Che Guevara [R] Cuban Dictator Fidel Castro

It is dubious that Che's favorite sport was golf.  More likely it was coaching firing squads.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Conundrum of Kasich Time Whines

Charles Krauthammer questions Kasich complaints about time

The RNC added another debate in Salt Lake City in late March that would be hosted by Fox News.  After Donald Trump won four of five Ides of March primaries, the GOP front runner refused to attend, citing a conflict with a prior commitment with AIPAC (which had not yet scheduled its speakers' schedule).

Governor John Kasich (R-OH), fresh off of winning 66 delegates in the Ohio primary was full of himself and also declined to debate Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) without Donald Trump being on the rostrum.

Fox News commentator Charles Krauthammer questioned the conundrum of Kasich complaining about not getting enough time in prior Republican debates, yet declining two hours sharing the spotlight with just one other candidate.

With only a win in his home state, it is hard to take "Ohio President" John Kasich as a serious contender for the Republican nomination. This shift in postures from whining about not getting enough time to declining the debate stage makes him hard to take seriously period.

Ben Carson's Passive Aggressive Trump-eting

After suspending his 2016 Republican Republican nomination race, Dr. Ben Carson came out to endorse front-runner Donald Trump. 

For those who still believed that Carson was a different kind of politician, one imbued with integrity and principles, Carson's embrace of Trump was surprising.  After all, Carson's rise to the top of the polls in November 2015 was thwarted by Trump's insinuation that he was "pathological" like a child molester. Moreover, Carson's political schtick was principled constitutionalism and Tea Party inspired smaller government.  Trump bloviates about getting rid of waste, fraud and abuse by Uncle Sam yet gives no specifics.  And Trump barely mentions the Constitution and gives little reference to the rule of law. 

Carson made mention that he was promised some sort of advisory role (if not a Cabinet position) in a Trump Administration, which reeks of pay for play deal political deal-making.  However, Carson's passive aggressive observation that even a failed Trump presidency is just four years makes his endorsement further seem like political expediency. 


On Unteachable Skills

Whit Ayers on the unteachable skills of Michael Jordan and Marco Rubio

Friedrich Nietzsche on Monsters

Friedrich Nietzche on Monsters

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Marco Rubio on the Politics of Resentment

As Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) made what was perhaps the hardest speech of his life as he withdrew from the 2016 Republican Presidential nomination race, Rubio was gracious, faith filled and philosophical. 

Ted Cruz on Civil Campaigning

Senator Ted Cruz on Civil Campaigning

Last week, Republican front-runner received increased scrutiny for hot tempered hustings and inciting violence at campaign rallies.  Trump had to cancel a big rally at the University of Illinois-Chicago for what he cited as safety reasons as infiltrated protesters and street rallies threatened to get ugly. But Trump has also repeatedly used incendiary insults regarding detractors and Trump has encouraged supporters to give detractors rough treatment.

Opposition antics do not just plague the Trump campaign but are handled in dramatically different ways.  On the eve of the Illinois primary, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) was heckled by a birther in Peoria. 

Rather than incite the crowd and gin up anger over the eligibility (non) issue , Cruz used civility and comedy to vanquish the opposition. 

This contrast revels character and inherent leadership styles. 

Speaker Paul Ryan has come out for civil campaigning, but it seems that the media and the unfocused angry voter continue to spotlight the Trump chaos circus campaign.

Jerry Brown on a Wall Around California?

Governor Jerry Brown on a California Wall

Paul Ryan on Rallies and Responsibility

Speaker Paul Ryan on Rallies and Responsibility

Thomas Sowell on Politicians

Thomas Sowell on Politicians

Monday, March 14, 2016

Albert Einstein on Stupidity

Albert Einstein on Stupidity

On Einstein's birthday, it is worth considering how Einstein expanded the boundaries of genius (with the help of the Animaniacs).

No wonder Einstein did not want the Warner Brothers's  (and sister too) cookies-- Einstein hankered for Pie.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Hot Tempered Hustings

During the Miami Republican Presidential Debate, Donald Trump was asked about violence associated with some of his campaign appearances.  Trump deflected any responsibility for rowdiness at rallies. However, Trump seemed to justify supporters "swinging back" at political protesters at his events.

These assertions come at the heels of an assault alleged by Breitbart News reporter Michelle Fields by Trump spokesman Corey Lewendowski.   Breitbart News corporately refused to stand by their conservative reporter concerning the Trump spokesman incident.  And Trump social media warriors sought to savage the credibility of Fields. But CSPAN videotape documents Lewindowski's thuggery. 

The Breitbart News' lackluster support of Fields prompted Breitbart News spokesman Kurt Bardela to resign.   Bardella blames an ugly cycle of behavior which seems to follow the Trump campaign and Breitbart News seems to minimize. It should be noted that some Breitbart News staffers think that an infusion of cash during the summer of 2015 might pay for favorable coverage of the Trump campaign.

Another Trump rally in North Carolina was infamous for a Trump supporter sucker punching a protester as he was being escorted from the venue.


The 78 year old assailant later was quoted as saying: "The next time we see him, we might have to kill him. We don't know who he is, he might be with a terrorist organization." He has been charged and given a $25,000 bond.

A Trump rally at the University of Illinois- Chicago had to be cancelled for security reasons because of a riotous atmosphere. As is typical in campaigns, Trump issued far too many tickets, leaving a bunch of supporters out on the streets.  There were protesters outside the venue. But a number of Black Lives Matter activists and Bernie Sanders partisans agitated inside the event causing chaos.

Although Trump did not get the optics of a mass rally in the Windy City, Fox News Channel gave Trump a friendly twenty minute phone interview while airing the chaos on the streets and the hall. Trump claimed that everyone was angry about no jobs, despite indications that protesters were socialists and social justice agitators.

Much to Trump's credit, he spoke in calming tones and did not further insult the opposition. But Trump spokesperson Katrina Pierson followed by claiming these were examples of Alinsky-like tactics and giving justification to push back on organized chaos.

 While Trump should not be held accountable for the actions of every crazy supporter, he sets the tone for the campaign.  New Trump surrogate Dr. Ben Carson vexed that it might be a long hot summer. As seems that such anarchy and unrest only seems to be attaching to Trump's campaign, these hot tempered hustings and mixed messages may eventually boil over into violence, which  sullies the  American political hot stove. 

Phyllis Schlafly Whiffs at All American Baseball

Phyllis Schlafly returned to the headlines today endorsing Donald Trump for the Republican Presidential nomination.  This Schlafly endorsement probably is intended to give the Manhattan Mogul some sway among social conservatives.

But a commentary that Schlafly published on the Eagle Forum may give conservatives consternation.  Schlafly urged that the Major Leagues ban foreigners from playing in America's Pastime.

Phyllis Schlafly on Baseball

Ironically, Schlafly is making her pitch as the Major Leagues have been earnestly endeavoring to expand their influence worldwide. In 2014, the MLB season kicked off in Australia. There has been lots of talk (along with trepidation) about moving a franchise to Mexico. And currently, the Toronto Blue Jays aren't playing their home games on US soil (and it is dubious if Canada will withhold foreign players' visas).

While it is lamentable that there is not as much sandlot baseball that progresses player into the Major Leagues, reimposing bigotry barriers goes against the grain of the civil rights movement.

It is bizarre to believe that sports fans today worry about the ethnicity of an athlete as opposed to their athletic abilities.  Anyone who suggests an "America First" on the fields of competition is out of this zeitgeist.

Granted, Phyllis Schlafly is 91 years old.  Her notoriety skyrocked in the mid 1970s  fighting against the willy nilly imposition of the Equal Rights Amendment.  This was around the same time that then Senator Bob Dole (R-KS) was selected as President Ford's Vice Presidential running mate in 1976.

Perhaps it is time for Ms. Schlafly along with Senator Dole and President Jimmy Carter to gracefully surrender the public spotlight before they further embarrass themselves.

Donald Trump Rallies Violence?

Part of Donald Trump's leitmotif during the 2016 Republican Presidential Nomination race is to tap into the anger of the so called "Silent Majority" by inspiring large celebrity styled campaign rallies.

Trump revels at being politically incorrect and pugnacious, so he does not suffer fools lightly for protesters who dare to counter-demonstrate at his events.  The problem with such truculent tactics is that it rubs off on his fanatical supporters.

During the Miami Republican Debate, CNN moderator Jake Tapper questioned Trump about violence which has been bubbling up at his recent rallies.

Instead of immediately distancing himself from crazies at campaign rallies, Trump first feigns ignorance, then demonizes the disruptive dissidents then denies that he did anything.

Tapper pushed back on Trump's tacit tolerance of the violence by pointing out several instances which Trump egged on or encouraged his followers to give the unwanted guest an abusive adieux.

While it can be claimed that Trump says that he does not condone violence at rallies, his justifications impeach that assertion.  Moreover, after the debate, Trump told ABC News that: "The audience swung back [on Trump disrupters]...what we need to see a bit more of."

Many media commentators heaped praise on Trump for utilizing a soft spoken approach and not hurling crude insults at his opponents during the Miami GOP Debate. Yet the paralepsis politician continues to play the media, by implying something without saying it, albeit in without typical bluster or bombast.

Was the Trump pussy footing around distancing himself from David Duke in 2016 because the man who has the self proclaimed best memory did not recall what white supremacists groups are or because they were a small slice of useful idiots to vote in the SEC dominated Super Tuesday? How about Trump touting authoritarian exertions of strength by Putin and the Chinese Red Army repressing the Tiannamen Square protests, yet claiming that he did not endorse the actions?

Is this the "new normal" in the American polity?

Post Scriptus 03/13/2016  After reports that and Bernie Sanders supporters were the groups which shut down the Trump Rally at the University of Illinois-Chicago, Trump tweeted a taunt and threat:

Dennis Miller on Obama

Dennis Miller on Obama

Paul Newman on LIfe

Paul Newman on Life

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Clay Aiken on Donald Trump

American Idol 2 runner up and failed 2014 Democrat congressional candidate (D-NC 2nd) Clay Aiken has shown quite a soft spot in his heart for Donald Trump.  After all, Aiken appeared on twenty episodes of The Celebrity Apprentice (in which he again was the runner up).  In addition, Aiken's mom is also supporting "The Donald".

But Aiken's interview with Stuart Varney on Fox Business Network offered an unvarnished opinion on the Manhattan Mogul who is running as the front-runner for the Republican Presidential nomination.

Aiken's assessment has an air of honesty. This sort of assessment differs from the corterie of celebrity endorsements of Donald Trump, like the assist from Dennis Rodman (who also is good friend of Kim Jong-un)