Important General Endorses Trump And Confirms Nukes Are A Really, Really Cool Trump Card!

Add another name to the list of iconic movements in American History. To the Abolitionist Movement, the Civil Rights Movement, the Youth Movement, the Feminist movement, and even the Tea Party Movement… add The Smart Movement, surely thought up by Trump in that big, smart brain of his.  (Please do not confuse this with NC Governor Pat McCrory’s admonishing his coastal citizens to flee a hurricane several years back. “I just want to also say to everyone, stay safe. I’ve mentioned this before to citizens, don’t put your stupid hat on,” he said.)

Trump: “We want to be smart again. We’re not smart anymore, folks,” he said. “We don’t win anymore but we’re not smart anymore. So we call it the smart movement, and that’s what I want to have.”

The perfect metaphorical relationship between Winner Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 10.10.15 AMDonald and his #1 Indiana Winner Endorser-Buddy Bobby Knight should be lost on no one. Mutual admiration abounds as the candidate brutally assaults opponents, the country and the world with the same bullying, misogynistic attitude that Coach Knight used on his way to 3 NCAA titles at Indiana. NY Times-4/27/88: “Asked by Connie Chung, the NBC News correspondent conducting the interview, how he handled stress, the Indiana men’s basketball coach said, ”I think that if rape is inevitable, relax and enjoy it.”   He changed his mind by 2014, telling college basketball to fight off the rapist: When speaking in regard to the NBA’s age minimum rule and the subsequent one-and-done nature of big-time college basketball, Knight said, “It’s as though they’ve raped college basketball in my opinion.” 

Bob Knight Can’t Stay Away From The Rape Metaphors

 

Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 10.18.26 AM

Upping the Full Macho component to an even higher level of crazy, Knight wants us to know there’s no reason to have the nuclear button available if you’re never going to press it. And he wants you to be reassured that he was standing right next to the guy who’s ready to do it.

“We gotta talk about this presidential crap just for a moment here,” Knight said Thursday at an Evansville, Indiana, rally.

“You older folks remember this. Your mothers, fathers have taught you this. I’ll tell you who they said wasn’t presidential. I don’t even know what the hell ‘presidential’ means, but they told him he wasn’t presidential. And that guy they told all these people that wanted to say, ‘You’re not presidential,’ that guy was Harry Truman. Harry Truman, with what he did in dropping and having the guts to drop the bomb in 1944, saved, saved millions of American lives. And that’s what Harry Truman did and he became one of the three great presidents of the United States. And here’s a man who would do the same thing because he’s going to become one of the four great presidents of the United States.”

___________________________________________________

So, America, if Trump is assaulting you, just sit back and enjoy it.  Resistance is futile and will just make things worse.  No biting, screaming, or mace, please.

Even though I realize that fact-checking is an irrelevancy these days, forgive me for pointing out out that self-proclaimed Student of History Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 10.28.45 AMRobert Montgomery Knight, aka “The General,” incorrectly said the atomic bombs were dropped on Japan in 1944. The two were used in August of 1945. I apologize to anyone offended by my correction.

Leave a comment
Leave a comment

LEMONADE: The Middle-Aged White Man’s Guide

Sick of having your daughters dancing around the house singing about Becky With The Good Hair and not knowing what they’re talking about. I’ll break down Beyonce’s latest “joint”, LEMONADE and you’ll be so far ahead of the other dads at the next soccer game, they’ll turn green with envy, boo

It comes down to four people:

JAY-Z: You know him. Hova, Jigga, the man who has 99 problems, but a b—h ain’t one

BEYONCE: You know her. Wife of Jay, Queen Bey, The Artist Formerly Known as Sasha Fierce, Duchess of H Town, the woman who made halftime at the Super Bowl completely infuriating to Fox News viewers

DAMON DASH: Co-founder (with Jay-Z) of Roc-A-Fella Records. Former friend and business partner of Jay-Z. Aaliyah’s lover at the time of her passing 15 years ago. Speaking of Fox News, Damon’s sister goes on there all the time, trashing Obama

RACHEL ROY: Former wife of Damon Dash. Mother of his two children. Fashion designer who worked for Rocawear, the clothing arm of Roc-A-Fella

If you can keep these four people straight, you hold the keys to the kingdom

Remember this?

In May of 2014, that footage was released, showing Solange Knowles, sister of Bey (I know I said you would only have to remember four people, but, trust me on this) trying to whoop Jay’s ass for some reason. At the time, no one could figure out what was up. Turns out, Solange was upset that Jay was getting a little too close with Rachel (Damon Dash’s ex). Allegedly, the Knowles sisters had approached Rachel and asked her “What’s up?” re her relationship with Jay-Z. So, that’s what the elevator drama was all about (Queen Bey sort of addressed it in the Flawless remix from two years ago)

And, so, I can reveal to you that (most likely) Becky With The Good Hair=Rachel Roy. In one of the most emotional songs on LEMONADE (Sorry), Bey sings

He only want me when I’m not there
He better call Becky with the good hair

Which means that Jay is hooking up with his “side piece” when Queen Bey isn’t around

That's pretty good hair, alright
That’s pretty good hair, alright

Rachel all but confirmed that she was Becky with an since-deleted instagram post that said “good hair don’t care” (Roy now denies this and says her instagram was misunderstood)

So, that’s it. Well, not exactly. LEMONADE also addresses police brutality against African-Americans, coping with fame, and Serena Williams (somehow), but no one is talking about that stuff. Also, there’s a companion piece on HBO, which evokes The Color Purple, among other things, but The Search For Becky has been topic number one in America for the past 72 hours or so. And now you know. This will make you the coolest dad EVER! But let’s be real: It also makes you SEVERELY uncool because you invested time into this. How you present the information is key

My recommendation: If you see someone acting weird while you’re taking your daughter to get frozen yogurt, say something like “He better call Becky With The Good Hair”. This should elicit some laughter and an “Oh, Dad!”. You’ve scored, but don’t push it. Put that one away for at least five days

Then, maybe you see some woman at church who is having a “bad hair day”. This is a great opportunity to slip in a “I bet she’s not Becky With The Good Hair” in a whispered aside to your teenage daughter. Perhaps you get a snicker. Perhaps you get a disgusted grunt. Fatherhood is all about taking chances

Don’t tell your wife about this information. She’ll just jump the gun and try to beat you to the punch on being cool. If your wife does get the info from you and then can’t keep it in her pants, tell her “stop biting my style”. This will help you save face. Also, don’t learn any lyrics from LEMONADE, some of which contain the “n word”. You’re playing with fire there, dad

Oh, you should also know that Jay-Z and Beyonce could be exaggerating all the stuff on LEMONADE or completely making it up to sell stuff. Be careful at how you break that news to your offspring: Kids are so fragile and naive to the ways of the world, boo

Leave a comment
Leave a comment

Pat McCrory and the Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy

We’ve entered a strange period of Governor McCrory’s strategy in dealing with the disastrous fallout of HB2. It’s really a two-tract plan:

  1. Distraction/Diversion
  2. Blame everyone else

We were given a couple of nice distractions today. This beauty was published by the Governor’s Office Tuesday morning

It shows McCrory addressing the Sheriff’s Association and getting a standing ovation. He receives love from the gathered throng and tells them he loves them right back. MESSAGE: All is well

Hey, pal: Your governor has got this. Now, you get back to wondering what Sally Ann is going to make for the church picnic on Sunday. And, for gosh sake, don’t let her kill those deviled eggs with too much paprika. Okay, Tiger?

And if you were worried about the hundreds of jobs not coming to North Carolina because of HB2, Uncle Pat’s got you covered on that, too. McCrory put out a press release about a pharmaceutical company that’s coming to Durham

Governor Pat McCrory, North Carolina Commerce Secretary John E. Skvarla, III, and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC) announced today that an expansion by Aurobindo Pharma USA, Inc. will bring 275 new R&D and pharma-manufacturing jobs to Durham. The New Jersey-based maker of generic pharmaceuticals plans to invest over $31.7 million in a new state-of-the-art national headquarters for specialty pharmaceutical R&D.

“We welcome the decision by Aurobindo Pharma to undertake this significant expansion in the Research Triangle,” said Governor McCrory.“Our state is eager to partner with this global company as it embarks on its business objectives and grows its presence in North Carolina’s life sciences community.”

All is well. All you lefty dummies who keep decrying the loss of jobs and the damage to North Carolina’s economy, SUCK ON THAT!

Part two of McCrory’s cunning plan unfolded in, of all places, The New York Times on Monday. McCrory says the liberals tricked him

No, really

On Thursday, he said he suspected that the entire matter had been orchestrated by Democrats and the Human Rights Campaign, a national gay rights group, to give Democrats an advantage in a tight governor’s race.

The backlash, he said, has allowed for no dialogue on “a very complex issue.” Dissenters to the left-wing position, he said, were being intimidated. Mr. McCrory used the word “Orwellian” twice.

“You’ve got to be politically naïve if you think this is not coordinated by a very effective — a very effective — group,” he said

Apparently, the Bilderbergers, the Masons, and the Jews were busy on other projects

I expect, at some point, McCrory will emerge from the Governor’s Mansion in early fall, with a long, white beard, mumbling something about The Spruce Goose and disinfecting his hands constantly

Pat McCrory in the near future

At night, I imagine, some highly-compensated consultant takes his head in their arms and strokes his hair as he tells the governor “It’s not your fault” and wipes his brow with a cold washcloth

We’ve got six months until the general election and the governor got some good news because a Public Policy Polling poll shows he doesn’t suck as much as he thought he did. It shows the governor in a virtual tie with his Democratic challenger, Attorney General Roy Cooper. But, wait: There was also bad news. HB2 isn’t quite as popular as previously thought

Just 36% of voters in the state support HB2, to 45% who are opposed. Independent voters are against it 33/46, and Democrats (20/63) are more unified in their opposition to the bill than Republicans (56/24) are in their support. Voters think the bill is having a bad effect on both the state’s economy and its overall reputation. 54% think it’s had a negative impact on North Carolina’s economy, to only 11% who think it’s having a positive impact. On that front even GOP voters by a 17 point margin grant that it’s having a more negative than positive effect on the state economically. 53% of  voters think HB2 has had a negative effect on North Carolina’s national reputation, to only 22% who claim they think it’s had an overall positive impact on the state’s image. Because of these things, just 32% of voters in the state think HB2 is actually helping North Carolina, compared to 53% who think it’s hurting the state. Independent voters, by a 53/30 spread, side with Democrats in thinking that HB2 is doing a lot more damage to the state than good.

Voters also don’t think HB2 is having the positive impact it was purported to have. Only 37% think its passage has made the state safer, to 44% who think it has not. Again on this aspect of the issue independents join with Democrats in saying by a 34/44 spread that it’s not making North Carolina safer

You think those damn liberals got to them, too, Pat?

Sadly, I expect the finger-pointing to continue in Raleigh. He’ll be pointing fingers so hard and so fast that he might just strain a ligament and need medical treatment

I sure wish somebody could deliver one of those fancy mirrors to the Governor’s Mansion

Not that McCrory would bother to look into it. Not unless the consultant told him to

 

Leave a comment
Leave a comment

The Greatest, Yugest, Most Unconventional Convention Continues… It’s ConCon!

There is ComiCon, DragonCon, GeekGirlCon…. all kinds of conventions for like-minded people, but we’ve never seen anything like Trump’s Political ConCon, for the self-deceptive people who think the guy’s in it for them.Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 11.13.40 AM

Predicting the next dissociative behavioral move by Donald Trump has been a fool’s game all along and is now taken off the boards. No more wagering, kids. The accompanying inability or unwillingness to challenge this man and expose the truth of him by most of the media (with few exceptions) makes them unindicted co-conspirators in his ascension to the nomination.  If he complains the delegate system is “rigged,” it must be true. If he accuses Cruz and Kasich of “collusion” to dare to try to stop him, it must be true.  No matter what nickname he attaches to anyone, repeat it for him and force the bullying victim to deny.  Play his game. Let’s have a fair and balanced discussion of everything Donald Trump vomits out of his mouth.

Trump’s run-from-the-gut, fantasy-pseudo-policy, blitzkrieg and belittle-the-opponent primary strategy has worked well for him.  His party popularity ceiling of 35-49% tops was breached in New York State when he got 60%, proving once and for all that New Yorkers… certainly the Republican primary ones… are as insular and provincially stupid as the hayseeds they believe live elsewhere.  At least the Democratic voters didn’t automatically pick the guy with the heavy Brooklyn accent just because he had a heavy Brooklyn accent.  Nice discretionary skills there.

Suddenly though, last week Trump decided to hire some fixer from the Republican Book of Blue Bloods– somebody named Paul Manafort, veteran of the Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bob Dole, George W. Bush and John McCain campaigns.  That meant the end of his Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 11.16.59 AMformer campaign chief, Casey “Big Lebowski,” the amateur guy who almost went to Riker’s Island for grabbing the female reporter’s arm. He was humanely beheaded by a hooded supermodel and dumped into the East River, near the area where most dead mobsters reside.  Manafort, who may be a bigger liar than Trump himself, wanted the big boys in the party suits to realize that it was time to submit to the unstoppable, unbearable likeness of Trump.  He winked and told them not to worry.

“He gets it,” Mr. Manafort told RNC members. “The part that he’s been playing is now evolving into the part that you’ve been expecting. The negatives will come down, the image is going to change.”

 

It’s hard to decide how to take Manafort’s take on his boss.  What does Trump “get” here?  That he needed to be a 100% Mussolini-style fraud to the primary voters to secure the nomination, only to reveal what a wonderful, reasonable, studious, well-informed, principled, non-bigoted, non-racist, non-misogynistic, uniter of all peoples who never threatens nuclear war, no longer saying he’d dismantle the entire post-war framework of relationships we have with our friends?

I have squandered my resistance
For a pocketful of mumbles,
Such are promisesScreen Shot 2016-04-25 at 11.36.03 AM
All lies and jest
Still, a man hears what he wants to hear
And disregards the rest.

 

Lying right to Chris Wallace’s face, Manafort went on “Fox News Sunday” to say he was not referring to the candidate’s core beliefs, just his 9-month Don Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 11.18.47 AMRickles/Andrew Dice Clay act.  So Trump believes all this crap?  Which is it?

“We were talking about evolving the campaign, not the candidate,” Mr. Manafort said. He sought to convince a skeptical Wallace that he was referring to how Mr. Trump talks to cheering followers at campaign events versus “when he’s giving speeches on policy, settings that are not rally-oriented.”

The syllogistic slop is, therefore, this:  Trump is not his campaign and the campaign is not Trump, believe me.

His new campaign guy is now out there trying to convince the 70% of Americans who have said they would never, under any circumstances, vote for Trump… trying to convince them that they should join Trump’s solid Republican core of followers (the one’s who’d be ok with him murdering someone on Fifth Avenue in broad daylight).  That core will have been officially betrayed by Trump; everything they liked him for… politically incorrect, tells the truth, the nationalistic/nativist rhetoric, birtherism against Obama and Cruz, it’s whites getting screwed, China and Mexico eating our lunch, hey, hey, ho, ho-all the Muslims have to go, more guns, more military…..  Mr. Manafort, do you mean it was all performance art…. a stunt, shtick, acting, a scripted reality show from Trump, Inc?

This will become the ultimate test for the Trumpanistas, the support-at-all-costs crowd.  Nothing can or would shake their allegiance to him, they say. But betrayal of the very reasons you liked him even before you met him…. and now a public admission he’d been lying to you about everything… has got to count for something, doesn’t it?  Or maybe it doesn’t.

You have to play it from the other angle, too.  Since Manafort is a campaign pro, a professional fixer/liar/spinner, you can assume he’s lying about Trump “getting it.” The very idea that Trump has the capacity or predilection to change his approach to campaigning all the way to November is absurd and is a desperation lie based on his towering negatives with the general electorate right now.  That Trump has forever, it seems, explicitly claimed his ability to be or not to be “presidential,” as if that behavior is like turning on a faucet, should have been enough, long ago, to sufficiently reveal the fake that he is.  Ronald Reagan was an actor who became a politician.  Trump is an actor who is remaining true to his craft and knows nothing except what he sees on the shows.

Trump has hoodwinked and swindled his way pretty damn far in this process.  But he’s admitting he’s been a phony all along, or he’s really the bombastic, thoughtless jerk that he’s shown himself to be.  He is like the philandering, drinking, gambling, abusive husband, who at the moment of reckoning with his crying wife, says, “but I can change… honest honey…. I WILL change…. I promise… that really wasn’t me.”  Your mom and your best friend and Ann Landers would tell you to throw the bum out (counseling is not an option!).  But the afternoon talkshows were around for decades before the first “reality shows” hit the air.  One of their staple theme shows was often “Why Do Women Like the Bad Boys?”

Leave a comment
Leave a comment

NC’s General Assembly: The Week Ahead

Amid much strife and controversy over North Carolina’s so-called “Bathroom Bill”, our General Assembly will be back in session doing The Work of the People™ this week. Let’s look in our crystal ball and see what we can expect from this group of exceptional public servants

MONDAY, APRIL 25: President Pro Tempore of the North Carolina Senate Phil Berger, Sr. (R-Tidy Bowl) introduces a bill setting aside $12.9 million for construction of a giant banner that says “F–k You Obama!” that will stretch from Hickory to Wilson and will be visible from space. When a reporter challenges Berger and calls the act “nakedly political”, Berger responds that tourists will come from miles around to see the banner and their revenue will replace revenue from the “dirty hippies who come to wallow in the filth of The People’s Republic of Asheville”

Meanwhile, Governor McCrory is said to be sitting in a quiet room, weeping softly as he watches “Sleepless in Seattle” and eats Ben and Jerry’s Blue Bell Ice Cream™. After some investigation, it turns out the ice cream was a gift from Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who sent it to McCrory after some companies thinking about relocating to North Carolina did and about face and went to Texas, instead

TUESDAY, APRIL 26: In a fit of pique, House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Saniflush) nearly beats a page to death after someone puts a “Pecker Checker” badge in Moore’s bathroom. Declaring “If someone doesn’t take the blame for this, I will end this boy’s life”, Moore holds up the page’s nearly lifeless body as his phone rings. Someone has programmed “Born in the USA” as Moore’s ring tone, which sets him into an entirely new fit of absolute rage. Before State Troopers can separate him from the page, Mr. Moore can be heard shouting “KING KONG AIN’T GOT S–T ON ME!”. Troopers then tase him and he loses consciousness

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27: House and Senate Republicans propose a law outlawing any radio station in North Carolina from playing the music of the rock group Pearl Jam. A reporter suggests that Republicans are simply proposing the ban because Pearl Jam cancelled an April 20th show in Raleigh, citing their opposition to HB2. Speaker Moore calls the band’s fans “socialist wieners” and states that “their 90s nostalgia is really getting in the way of our 80s nostalgia”

Meanwhile, Governor McCrory is feeling well enough to get lunch at a Subway™ on Fayetteville Street. When someone pulls out an iPhone to record him, the governor shrieks, declares the device to be “a tool of the devil” and sprints down the streets of Raleigh back to the Governor’s Mansion

THURSDAY, APRIL 28: After Attorney General Roy Cooper condemns a Republican proposal to ban Bruce Springsteen “or any non Duke-related New Jerseyite” from traveling to North Carolina, Berger and Moore attempt to extract Cooper from his office physically. Cooper is able to keep the duo at bay by flashing a picture of Caitlyn Jenner to the men via his phone. This has the effect of garlic to vampires and the men run from Cooper’s office, hissing and gasping for air

Meanwhile, House and Senate Republicans introduce bills banning “German porn”, and allocating $6 million for a study of the 1992 film “The Crying Game”

FRIDAY, APRIL 29: Governor McCrory is remanded for psychological evaluation after being pulled over doing 100 mph in Petersburg, VA. Authorities believe he was traveling to the DC area to do harm to Meet the Press host Chuck Todd. McCrory’s wife tipped off the authorities after discovering e-mails detailing the governor’s failed attempts to hire a hit man through Craig’s List. Ironically, even killers-for-hire were morally opposed to doing business with McCrory

At arraignment, a judge politely refuses the governor’s request for a “private commode”

Leave a comment
Leave a comment

NC Republicans Urinate On Their State. Ain’t Things Great?


Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 12.12.28 PM

Determined to walk off the Cliff of Intransigent History, we end another week with the pressure continuing to build against HB2 (The Infamous North Carolina “bathroom bill”) and its supporters.

NBA Goes to the Line- Commissioner Adam Silver had been hedging until Thursday, having said no decision could POSSIBLY be made about the 2017 All Star Game scheduled for Charlotte because playoff games are being held in Charlotte right now (did somebody say those home games must be moved?) and the league has a team there (no kidding, Adam!…did someone say Michael Jordan should be forced to immediately move the team to Toledo?)… a totally fake slippery slope argument that no one was making. The All-Star Game (only) has been the topic, as a singular, big event. Directly comparable to the NFL yanking a Super Bowl from Arizona in 1990 over the Martin Luther King holiday.  Silver unfudged the fudge Thursday, saying “the NBA has been clear that if the status quo in North Carolina remains in place the All-Star Game would have to be moved.”  The league, of course, hadn’t been so clear until that more definitive statement, but it’s never too late to do the right thing.

Incalculable, Self-Inflicted Reputational/Economic Damage In Billions-  It’s one thing to buy a stock, watch it tank, realize it’s never coming back, finally selling it and taking the loss.  You made a bad decision, you digest it…. you move on. It’s Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 10.53.23 AManother thing to buy a stock, watch it tank, realize it’s never coming back, refusing to sell it, never acknowledging your bad judgement… riding the stock down all the way into the toilet out of pique, spite, and arrogance. So far, that’s what appears to be happening with the adherents of HB2.  The more the concert cancellations pile up, the more that companies, both large and small, express their hesitance to expand or relocate to North Carolina, the more overall permanent damage that is done to North Carolina’s former reputation as the “smart, progressive” member of the Old Confederacy with the great Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 11.22.11 AMuniversity system (also being destroyed in a separate crime)…. the more damage done, the stubborner they get. At a news conference on the upcoming legislative session, NC Senate leader Phil Berger referred to the law as “our commonsense bathroom safety bill” for its measures governing transgender bathroom access in many public buildings.

Berger digs in, says HB2 fixes not needed

WWE Announces HB2 Trump vs Cruz Restroom Stall Match!  Not really, but these two heading to opposite sides of the ring on this is the perfect campaign metaphor for the unforeseeable, unintended consequences of the law’s Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 11.33.46 AMpolitical effects anywhere and everywhere politicians are asked about it. On the Today Show Thursday, Donald Trump smartly went full Libertarian/hands off/status quo in opposing HB2: “There have been very few problems, leave it the way it is,” he said. “North Carolina, what they’re going through with all of the business that’s leaving and all of the strife, and that’s on both sides, you leave it the way it is. There have been very few complaints the way it is. People go, they use the bathroom that they feel is appropriate. There has been so little trouble.”…  When asked about which bathroom Caitlyn Jenner would use in the Trump Towers, he said she could use whichever bathroom she chooses. He was also asked if he had any transgender people working for him, he said he did not know.

Ted Cruz saw an opening:  “Donald Trump is no different from politically correct leftist elites. Today, he joined them in calling for grown men to be allowed to use little girls’ public restrooms,” Cruz said. “As the dad of young daughters, I dread what this will mean for our daughters — and for our sisters and our wives. It is a reckless policy that will endanger our loved ones.” Cruz said the famously outspoken real-estate magnate succumbed to “political correctness.  This is not real tolerance. The Left wants to force its belief system onto Americans across the country and silence people of faith in the public square,” Cruz said. “Unsurprisingly, Donald Trump is all too eager to join them.” Ohio Gov. John Kasich has also said he would not sign or support a law similar to North Carolina’s.

The irony of the most potty-mouthed person to ever run for president sounding reasonable and inclusive, using this issue to cut through to Democrats and liberals should be lost on no one.  Right now we’re all on this crazy tour leading to who knows where….

 

http://www.travelchannel.com/shows/extreme-bathrooms/video/trump-tower-s-5-star-bathroom

 

Leave a comment
Leave a comment

Pat McCory’s Poll Numbers: Worse Than You Think

Many people are talking about the new Elon University poll, showing Governor McCrory trailing trailing Attorney General Roy Cooper 48-42 (with a 4% margin of error) ahead of their November showdown. Matthew Winkler of Bloomberg is scratching his head because Pat’s commitment to HB2 has hindered his ability to tell the “Carolina Comeback” story. SLOW DOWN, MATTHEW! Even before McCrory signed the “Bathroom Bill” into law, he was a fairly unpopular governor, who faced stiff competition from a seasoned, organized foe. With Donald Trump on top of the ticket, the uphill climb would probably be too great. With Ted Cruz, still tough, but doable

When you go back in history and examine North Carolina’s gubernatorial races, you see that the bad news is even more profound for McCrory. Since 1980, incumbent governors have run for re-election four times (winning all four contests) and they averaged 57.25% of the statewide vote. Even if we take away Jim Hunt’s gaudy numbers (62% in 1980 and 56% in 1996), we get to a level of support that’s 55.5%. Even if we give McCrory all four points in the margin of error, that only gets him to 46%, which is a little less than Richard Vinroot did in 2000 against Mike Easley, but a little better than Patrick Ballantine did against Easley four years later (Jim Martin’s 55% is the worst performance by an incumbent since 1980)

But, what is the absolute floor for Pat McCrory in November? It’s a safe bet that he’ll outperform Beverly Lake’s 37% in 1980.If we throw that one out, the second-place finisher in North Carolina has done no better than 43% (which was what McCrory’s challenger Walter Dalton earned in 2012). But, remember, those were all non incumbents, who faced major obstacles in terms of basic resources like name recognition. Jim Gardner in 1992 and Robin Hayes in 1996 both were fairly well-known to followers of state politics, but they didn’t have the name recognition of Jim Hunt. That’s probably why each garnered only 43% of the vote

The Cooper campaign must be ecstatic. Cooper has floated around Raleigh for a while, but he doesn’t have the name recognition of Pat McCrory, who was fairly well-known as Mayor of Charlotte before mounting a losing then a winning campaign for governor

Curiously, North Carolina’s gubernatorial races haven’t been terribly close in the past 36 years, with the exception of McCory’s losing effort, a 50-47 affair in 2008

Of course, there’s a lot of ground to cover until November and many factors simply can’s be accounted for. North Carolina’s Voter ID law will be in effect for the first time in a general election. These laws have traditionally knocked a couple of points off of Democratic totals. We also don’t know who will be on top of the Republican ticket come November. Political experts say that a Trump nomination could depress GOP turnout. A Cruz nomination would only be a little more helpful to McCrory. And, of course, any number of catastrophic events could change the election. But, still, Cooper’s got to be happy about his standing six months ’til judgment day

It remains to be seen if a repeal of HB2 would help McCrory much. At this point, the damage may already be done. But, before we get too cocky about Roy Cooper’s chances, remember a North Carolina incumbent governor hasn’t been defeated since 1892…which is a tad misleading because the position was a one (term) and done proposition until the state constitution was amended, allowing Hunt to run for a second term in ’80

Beating an incumbent is never an easy task and the Cooper campaign would probably be happy with a neck-and-neck performance, at this point. As it is, they’re ahead of the game. But, we’ve got a lot of game left to be played

Leave a comment
Leave a comment

Review: The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Season 2

If you don’t like Tina Fey, this is where you depart. If you didn’t like 30 Rock or Mean Girls or any of Tina’s stuff from SNL, you won’t like this. Don’t torture yourself trying to get what all the cool people rave about. I’m not sure when you missed your opportunity to be cool, but it happened and you probably need to examine that at least a little. Otherwise, the rest of your life will just be a pointless journey

Ah, the darkness

When I tried to explain the premise of Kimmy, people who weren’t familiar with it would recoil when I would explain it was about a woman who was kidnapped and enslaved by a cult leader in an underground bunker, but then rescued and had to adjust to life in New York City and the ensuing emotional pain. Come to think of it, as I type that, I can see that it doesn’t really seem that funny. Not like “wacky black doctor and his lawyer wife navigate family life as he wears loud sweaters”

Too soon?

But, that’s sort of the thing about Tina Fey’s voice. She insists on doing things the hard way. How can anyone give a damn about a spoiled bunch of people producing a late night TV show? Well, she made us do it. She’s that good and that smart. It’s kind of confounding

One of the great weapons she has going for her in Kimmy is the delightful Ellie Kemper. It is literally impossible not to like Ellie Kemper. I think that somewhere, ISIS leaders have even instructed their guys to give her a pass. She’s just one of those people whose onscreen persona makes you want to hang with her or bake her something or buy her a gift card, but the gift card would probably put her in a tough spot, because you always go over on those and then you’re making the recipient come out-of-pocket, which sucks. And then, you, maybe come up a little short and you end up with a gift card with like $1.83 left on it and that won’t buy anything, so you just have this damn gift card on your bar at home next to the electric bill and it just sits there for like 8 months because it’s not good for anything

Ellie Kemper would forgive you for the lousy gift card

In season 2 of Kimmy, things do, indeed, get darker, as Kimmy tries to find her mother (Lisa Kudrow, in some damn fine casting), while trying to help her alcoholic shrink (Fey) and deal with one of her former bunker mates getting married. Along the way, she gets a job as an Uber driver and has to deal with many outrageous situations

Her friend Titus (Tituss Burgess) gets out of his own selfishness long enough to score a boyfriend, which brings about many hilarious complications. Jacqueline (Jane Krakowski) navigates life after divorce and Lilian (Carol Kane) does some crazy stuff, but it doesn’t really matter because watching Carol Kane do just about anything is amazing

Also, we get one of the most disturbing cartoon sequences in the history of entertainment. Seriously, if your kids wander into the living room in the middle of this and go “OOH! Cartoons!”, don’t let them watch this or you’ll be setting them up for a lifetime of anti psychotics and millions of dollars in therapy

I’m serious

And Tina did it again. She made me care about this disparate group of people living in a place I’ve visited twice in my life. She’s just got this weird way of making it happen. I don’t know if the second season was as good, to me, as the first, but it was pretty darn funny

They leave a nice cliffhanger for season three. I can see them getting, maybe a fourth season, before Tina brings it to an end. I get the feeling that she felt 30 Rock went on a season too long. I think she’d rather end Kimmy a little soon than risk going on too long

So, yeah, it’s a light, airy sitcom about a woman dealing with abandonment issues. It’s definitely one of those quirky comedies that networks have no idea how to market these days (Community, anyone?). That’s why Netflix is Netflix: They make it work when the networks can’t

But, trust me, on that cartoon thing

(Season 2 of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is now streaming on Netflix)

Leave a comment
Leave a comment

A Thousand Words

 

Photo credit: Mark Binker, WRAL.com (twitter.com/binker)
Photo credit: Mark Binker, WRAL.com (twitter.com/binker)

What you see above is a man who finally understands that his empire is crumbling. We’ve been given few glimpses in history to the exact moment that someone realizes it’s over. Governor Pat McCrory finally realized he had followed a path of doom around 1:30 pm on April 19th, 2016. That’s when he was informed that the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against barring Gavin Grimm, who was born a woman, but identifies as a man, from using the men’s restroom. Legal experts say that the ruling puts North Carolina’s controversial HB2 out of commission

Maxine Eichner, a University of North Carolina law professor who is an expert on sexual orientation and the law, said the ruling — the first of its kind by a federal appeals court — means the provision of North Carolina’s law pertaining to restroom use by transgender students in schools that receive federal funds also is invalid

“The effects of this decision on North Carolina are clear,” she said, adding that a judge in that state will have no choice but to apply the appeals court’s ruling

Already, some are comparing the McCrory pic to this

Andy Card tells President Bush America has been attacked
Andy Card tells President Bush America has been attacked

Shortly after 9:00 am on September 11th, 2001, President George W. Bush was told by Chief-of-Staff Andrew Card that planes has crashed into the World Trade Center. That wasn’t the photo that struck me when I saw McCory’s moment. This one was

Y.A. Tittle

That is Hall of Fame quarterback Y.A. Tittle, photographed on September 20, 1964 as a member of the New York Giants, after being hit by John Baker of the Pittsburgh Steelers at the old Pitt Stadium. Tittle suffered a concussion and a cracked sternum on the play. He would play the rest of the season, but the once-mighty Giants finished with worst record in the league. In 1963, he threw 36 TD passes (a record that stood until Dan Marino broke it in 1984) and earned MVP honors. The next year, he was done

The photo became one of the most celebrated sports photographs of the entire 20th century. It captured a celebrated athlete at a moment of vulnerability, at a time when sports media portrayed football players as masked gladiators, conquering any obstacle they pleased. Humanity wasn’t part of the equation in 1964. Tittle would be tagged as “weak” and “helpless” for many year thanks to his moment captured in time

Ironically, the photo was beneficial to Baker, who used it when he ran for Sheriff of Wake County, NC (where he was born and raised) in 1978. He won and served for 25 years. Wake County is where Pat McCrory lives…for a little while longer

It was only yesterday that the fresh-faced former Mayor Pat took the oath-of-office and became the monstrous Governor Pat. Currently, North Carolina is a national punchline and McCrory shoulders a large portion of the blame. He continues to squawk that his solutions are “common sense”. He goes on television with a smile that’s so forced that it’s surely been applied with a sandblaster. Mr. Binker’s picture is a true glimpse inside McCrory’s soul. The consultants are far away and he’s trapped with his own thoughts. The neurons fire rapidly and he searches for the moment it all went wrong

Back to our friend, Mr. Tittle: He finally learned to embrace that awful photo. In 2009, he put it on the back cover of his autobiography. He told the Los Angeles Times

That was the end of my road. It was the end of my dream. It was over

Pat McCrory has just awoken from his dream. Let’s hope North Carolina is about to awake from it’s nightmare

 

Leave a comment
Leave a comment

Thank You Pearl Jam

At about 11:15 pm on August 6, 2000, I fell in love

It happened at the Greensboro Coliseum on the occasion of my 30th birthday. Pearl Jam was playing and Eddie spotted a kid close to the stage. He said something like this

I’ve been looking at this kid up front and he’s recording the show. And I don’t have a problem with that. I really don’t. It’s just that we’re about to play a romantic one and I wanted you to be able to dance with your girl. I just wanted to put your tape recorder up here on stage, so you can get a better sound

He then put the kid’s tape recorder by the onstage monitors and the band launched into their cover of “Last Kiss”. At that moment, I knew I would love that band for the rest of my life

Saturday night, before the show in Greenville, SC, my buddy Scott, who I went to high school with, asked me if he thought they would cancel Wednesday’s show in Raleigh. I told him that I was pretty confident if they were going to cancel, they would have already sone it

I hadn’t factored in a disastrous performance by Pat McCrory (R-Hamlet NC) on Sunday’s “Meet The Press”

Pretty sure that Pat’s appearance sealed the deal and rendered this Screenshot_2016-04-18-18-25-48-1

useless as PJ cancelled Raleigh on Monday

Their official statement:

It is with deep consideration and much regret that we must cancel the Raleigh show in North Carolina on April 20th.

This will be upsetting to those who have tickets and you can be assured that we are equally frustrated by the situation.

The HB2 law that was recently passed is a despicable piece of legislation that encourages discrimination against an entire group of American citizens. The practical implications are expansive and its negative impact upon basic human rights is profound. We want America to be a place where no one can be turned away from a business because of who they love or fired from their job for who they are.

It is for this reason that we must take a stand against prejudice, along with other artists and businesses, and join those in North Carolina who are working to oppose HB2 and repair what is currently unacceptable.

We have communicated with local groups and will be providing them with funds to help facilitate progress on this issue.

In the meantime we will be watching with hope and waiting in line for a time when we can return.

Perhaps even celebrate.

With immense gratitude for your understanding,

Pearl Jam

 

I don’t know if I’ve been prouder of this band

Make no mistake, I wish they would have made this decision last week or the week before, but what they said here is huge and makes a massive statement. Springsteen has always been a hero to Eddie, so it’s no surprise that he followed the lead of The Boss

I am ashamed of the leadership of my state. They have turned this place I loved into a place I barely recognize. North Carolinians were never people who were fearful or suspicious of each other. We never went out of our way to make people who were different feel strange. We accepted people who weren’t the same with open arms. It’s all changed now. My family has North Carolina roots going back a century and a half. If not seeing Pearl Jam once is enough to wake people up and give me my state back, I’m all for it

This really sucks for the fans because Pearl Jam hasn’t played Raleigh in 13 years. In fact, since a John Kerry fundraiser in Asheville in ’04, the band has only performed one North Carolina show (Charlotte, ’13)

As I watched a tremendous show in Greenville on Saturday, I became emotional thinking about what awaited me Wednesday. I felt that Eddie had made his decision and he would surely roll out an old chestnut from the Bush days. At that point, PJ was quite adamant about their opposition to the Iraq War and they started playing the old protest song “Here’s to the State of Mississippi” by Phil Ochs at their shows

It is a sad, mournful, despairing tune that pleads for those who have done damage to our country to get out. PJ’s version changed the lyrics to reflect Bush, Cheney, etc.

I closed my eyes Saturday and imagined how Eddie might lay into North Carolina by changing the lyrics on Wednesday and I got pretty emotional just thinking about it. Mississippi was shorthand to a generation of Americans for everything that was wrong about this great country. To think that North Carolina has become the modern-day Mississippi for LGBT folks, hurts me deeply. We can tell these people that we don’t support HB2 all we want, but it’s still a law and it’s still a North Carolina law

There’s a part of me that hoped Eddie would sing these hard truths to us on Wednesday, but I’m not certain I would have been able to bear it

God has richly blessed me in my life in so many ways. God has seen fit that I should attend 11 Pearl Jam shows, each unique memories I will carry for me to the grave. I hope the Lord makes it so that I can see my favorite band a 12th time one day. But, my greater hope is that He lets me see the day when I get my state back

Leave a comment
Leave a comment