Profiles in Cowardice: NC Governor Pat McCrory Runs the Numbers & Decides It’s Still Cool to Be Afraid of Trump

 

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If there’s anything great about Donald Trump as his party’s nominee, it is this: that it once and for all confirms that if it weren’t for basic decency, explicit post-WW2 civil rights legislation, and, yes, political correctness (not always bad), Republicans, if given the chance, would be the openly sexist, Screen Shot 2016-06-10 at 11.23.13 AMracist, bigoted, nationalist creeps we always thought they were (while using coded language like “law and order” and dog whistle phrasing).  Archie Bunker with a bit more money at the top of the ticket.. permission granted!  

Meanwhile in North Carolina, the Raleigh/Charlotte McClatchy newspaper brothers report that:

Democrats push McCrory to condemn Trump’s comments about Hispanic judge 

What the hell is wrong with Democrats in NC?

“McCrory this week said he’s supporting Trump because “I’ve said I would support the Republican nominee.” The governor has not directly addressed Trump’s comments about the judge.”

Why would Democrats even think about trying to “push” McCrory to condemn comments about Judge Gonzalo Curiel? To what end? To give him any kind of breathing space?  I say let ’em all hang together. In marriage, if your wife TELLS you you have to apologize….it’s too late. You lose. Get OUT! Pat McCrory has already lost the moral battle here; he deserves no political space to wiggle out of this one.

Democrats should be willing to put to the test this alternate example of Screen Shot 2016-06-10 at 11.26.40 AMTrump’s boast he could gain votes even if he shot someone on Fifth Ave. in NYC. This is it. —I’m going to call an American judge a Mexican judge, deem him unfit to fairly judge my case… a personal case that started many years before I was in politics, by the way.— You can’t call his comments racist then say he’s not an actual racist and lean on the number of votes he got in the primaries as your excuse for withholding judgement or endorsing him….lot’s of ’em are trying that one. That’s the playbook, apparently. McCrory takes his craven, calculated approach because he must believe that Trump has majority support for his views… and he may right with the extreme redneck Republican base in NC… The last paragraph below indicates 78% SUPPORT for Donald’s not having said a racist thing about Judge Curiel.

“Polling suggests that voters overall aren’t buying the Trump excuses. The latest research from YouGov shows that only 20 percent of Americans think that Donald Trump was right to complain that Judge Gonzalo Curiel had a ‘conflict of interest’ because of his Mexican ancestry. Most Americans (57 percent) think Trump was wrong in his complaint. Even Republicans are divided on whether Trump’s complaint was right or wrong, with 43 percent saying it was right but 39 percent saying that it was wrong.”

Even more stunning: “What a large majority of Republicans do agree on, however, is that Donald Trump’s comments weren’t racist. Only 22 percent of Republicans say that the comments were racist. In comparison 81 percent of Democrats and 44 percent of independents say that the comments were racist.”

The conservative Washington Post writer Jennifer Rubin sets the table this way:

Since the 1960s, Republicans have had to battle against liberal elites’ accusations that the GOP is exclusionary, anti-immigrant, uninterested in the fate of minorities and downright racist because the party rejected top-down welfare state programs, opposed race-based quotas and did not have a lot of national nonwhite leaders. That changed somewhat under President George W. Bush, who championed education and immigration reform. He got 44 percent of the Hispanic vote and 43 percent of the Asian vote in 2004….

Trump’s recent remarks about Judge Gonzalo Curiel are simply icing on the cake for Democrats, who have long claimed Republicans simply don’t like minorities.

Republicans may protest and condemn Trump’s comments all they like, but for every denunciation, a Republican surrogate offers up some contorted defense. (or in the case of Pat McCrory, a full, 100% dodge) And Republicans keep Trump as their nominee. Trump’s racist and misogynistic rhetoric makes him toxic to women and minorities, and it risks tarring the party for years.

Viewed from the vantage point of skeptical minorities, the conclusion here is likely to be that Trump is a racist and a majority of Republicans (who won’t acknowledge the “textbook case of racism”) are nearly as bad.

In short, a bad rap (Republicans’ opposition to the liberal agenda makes them racists) has been turned into an accurate, deadly analysis. (Too many Republicans harbor bigoted views of minorities and/or do not recognize racism when it’s in front of them.) Not all Republicans can be labeled as such, but far too many can. The solution only comes with repudiation of Trump, success of diverse candidates and an empathetic agenda that demonstrates Republicans care about all Americans, not just rich, white males.

It is that problem that now hangs over the GOP. It’s why the GOP is likely to lose the presidential race and perhaps one or more houses of Congress. It is why many will conclude it is better to scrap the party and start anew. Ironically, they may have to kill off the party of Lincoln to save the spirit of Lincoln.

Good luck with that.

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Scalia’s Death Encapsulates Everything You Ever Needed To Know About Obama’s Presidency

The immediate, visceral reaction of Republicans to Justice Scalia’s death by natural causes (more on that later) was to essentially scold and threaten President Obama to not even think of following the exact words in the Constitution regarding his duty to nominate a successor.  “The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice,” McConnell said in a statement posted on his Facebook page. “Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President.”  McConnell would have you believe that, at least in this case, the voice of the American people as a whole was not expressed when Obama was reelected in 2012 and that 2014 midterm elections take precedence.  His reading of the Constitution is apparently something like this:

“[A President] who we do not remotely respect or acknowledge as legitimate, for obvious reasons, shall not nominate or appoint during the final year of his final term, as per the Consent of the Senate, Judges of the Supreme Court.”

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As in so many instances these past 7 years, the more politically shrewd president quickly tiptoed through the settling dust of disrespect and the fear the Republicans have instilled in their own political DNA against cooperating on anything, ever proposed by this president:

“I expect them to hold hearings. I expect them to hold a vote,” Mr. Obama said at a press conference. “There’s no unwritten law that says it can only be done on off years… This is the Supreme Court, the highest court in the land.  It’s the one court where we would expect elected officials to rise above day-to-day politics. I understand the stakes. I understand the pressure that Republican senators are undoubtedly under. This would be a deciding vote. But that’s not how the system is supposed to work.”

With the ball quickly returned to their side of the court, Republicans started caving immediately from their we-ain’t-gonna-even-have-no-stinkin-hearings for a prospective new Justice to varying degrees of oops-we-did-it-again backtracking by various degrees.  At least the ones not running for President.  Candidate King of Subtlety and Deliberation Ted Cruz:  “I don’t think the American people want a Court that will strip our religious liberties.  I don’t think the American people want a Court that will mandate unlimited abortion-on-demand, partial-birth abortion with taxpayer funding, and no parental notification. And I don’t think the American people want a Court that will write the Second Amendment out of the Constitution.”  Fellow Candidate of Principle Donald Trump: “This is a tremendous blow to Screen shot 2016-02-18 at 11.22.54 AMconservatism and frankly to our country,” he added. “I think it’s up to Mitch McConnell and everybody to stop it. It’s called delay, delay, delay.”

Lame attempts to bring up nearly everyones’ reversals on the issue fizzle. For instance, Chuck Schumer’s declaration that George W. Bush ought not to nominate anyone for the court in his last year-and-a-half in office was just hot air since Bush never had the opportunity.  No one died or retired. When President Obama was Senator Obama, he participated in a symbolic filibuster of nominee Samuel Alito that went nowhere; Alito is Justice Alito.  And the president is a big enough man to admit he was wrong, making it ridiculous for Republicans to site as justification behavior that they said was wrong then and that Obama agrees with is wrong now.  His press secretary Josh Earnest finished the thought, saying, “they shouldn’t have looked for a way to just throw sand in the gears of the process. And frankly, looking back on it, the president thinks he should have just followed his own advice.”

Trump, the guy who hasn’t been forced to show his tax returns or how much money he really has, kept in the spotlight for years as the Birther in Chief, still to this day not admitting he was wrong about Obama being born in Hawaii, fully eligible to be president.  He’s transferred that insanity to Ted Cruz, who’s fighting back in real time instead of ignoring it for years.  But Donald loves a good conspiracy theory, and he was quick to fake pretend he wasn’t fully onboard with the Murder He Wrote ideas about Scalia’s “death by natural causes.”

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All the garbage has been refuted, including my favorite….. that Leonard Nimoy really didn’t die and has been plotting with the Illuminati, finally striking!  Enjoy!

Politico reported that Scalia’s son Eugene told the Laura Ingraham radio show on Wednesday: ‘Our family just has no doubt that he was taken from us by natural causes. ‘We accept that. We’re praying for him. We ask others to accept that and pray for him.’  Whoa….. they’ve even co-opted his kid!

We were joking on the podcast about the inevitability of another Bill OReilly ghost-written, mass market piece ‘o crap for nursing home librarians to buy for the shut-ins, “Killing Scalia.” Here’s the first very clever entry on the subject. Great stuff, courtesy of The Smirking Chimp:Murder, They Wrote: The Mysterious Plot to Kill Antonin Scalia

“Obama’s hatred of America and of Justice Scalia was so intense that the foreign-born and illegitimate POTUS reserved for himself the personal privilege of killing this giant of jurisprudence….”

 

Scalia’s Final Ruling: “Demolition Derby” + “Circular Firing Squad” = Republican Presidential Debate… I’m Out!

 

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“When I first came into office, the head of the Senate Republicans, Mitch McConnell,  said, ‘my number one priority is making sure president Obama’s a one-term president.’ Now, after the election, either he will have succeeded in that goal or he will have failed at that goal.”

— President Obama, interview on CBS’ “60 Minutes,” recorded on Sept. 12, 2012, and aired on Sept. 23

McConnell, one of the chief legislative architects of eight years of everything-this-guy-does-we-will-oppose-and-I-mean-everything…. takes it to a new level over the weekend.  Justice Antonin Scalia picked a really, really, inconvenient time to die, forcing McConnell to threaten the Illegitimate President that he’ll allow another Obama justice over his (Mitch’s) dead body.  “The American people‎ should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President,” said the crestfallen, heartbroken Majority Leader, moments before Scalia’s last rites were administered over his dead body.

 

Dying when he did, one can’t help but think that at some level, Justice Scalia, a man who was personally loved by his colleagues and even ideological opponents…. somehow decided it would be best to check out of the Hotel West Texas a few hours before another one of these “debates.”  Strict Constructionist/Originalist Scalia, the guy whose answer to the idea that, at any level, the 228-year-old US Constitution is a “living” or “evolving” document, argued, “The only good Constitution is a dead Constitution. The problem with a living Constitution in a word is that somebody has to decide how it grows and when it is that new rights are – you know — come forth. And that’s an enormous responsibility in a democracy to place upon nine lawyers, or even 30 lawyers.” For him, the Constitution was frozen in time, and should only be changed by the voters through the amendment process.  Were he alive, he might disappoint his most ardent supporters by reminding us there is no Amendment that has changed the duties of the executive and legislative branches to nominate and vote on, in the last year of a president’s term, Supreme Court nominees.  He would crush McConnell’s argument that the “American people‎ should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice.”  He’d remind McConnell that the American people do have a voice, and they express it every four years, and that the fourth year counts as much as the first year. Scalia might call McConnell’s dictum, “legislative hokery-pokery with a dash of applesauce.”  

Fact Check Meltdown has overtaken the landscape of political reporting on these events.  So many lies are told, so much truth is stretched beyond recognition that it’s nearly impossible to chronicle them all and more often than not the biggest whoppers or idiotic opinions slip by, taken for truth and never challenged.  My example here deals with Marco Rubio.  Conventional wisdom says he did better in the Saturday CBS event and made a decent enough comeback from last week’s four-peat brainfreeze repetition of “Barack Obama knows exactly what he’s doing.”  But he got away with these lines:  “Just want to say, at least on behalf of me and my family, I thank God all the time it was George W. Bush in the White House on 9/11, and not Al Gore. (applause) I think you can look back in hindsight and say a couple of things, but he kept us safe.”  Applause followed, of course, and the truth of the statement satisfied all in the house.  Take a look… it’s right at the front of the clip:

Agent of Reason Trump correctly pounds away at the concept of W having “kept us safe” by not allowing the Safety Clock to start on September 12, 2001, but he would never go so far as to disagree with the apparently universally-accepted Republican truth that we were so much better off with George W. Bush as president than Al Gore in the years 2001-2009.  Now that everyone has officially gotten onboard in saying the Iraq War was one of the worst foreign policy blunders in US history… often mentioned at these debates… how could it logically follow that we can’t even imagine that things might have been at least a teeny bit better as the result of a Gore presidency at the time?  No Rumsfeld and Cheney in the picture.  Can’t imagine that!  Oh, wait….. I get it.  The worst foreign policy blunder that has unraveled all these years later, leading to the unleashing of the Dogs of ISIS… is just what?  Oh, I know…. automatically better than Al Gore, the whacky climate change guy.  Thank the Lord we didn’t have him! President Algore would have immediately surrendered to Bin Laden and declared “peace in our time” down at Ground Zero with that bullhorn that Bush used.  Instead, due in large part to the one of the most egregious, legislate-from-the-bench political decisions in US history out of the Antonin Scalia Supreme Court, we got George W. Bush in 2000.   Now, we face the prospect that even if Obama were to nominate esteemed Court of Appeals Judge Jesus H. Christ, the Republicans would stonewall it out of hate, spite, and the kind of politics we pretend we hate.

 

Will Hoverboard be the Trump of Christmas gifts, 2015; will fact checks and warnings mean nothing?

Was buying a hoverboard for your kid for Christmas, 2015, the most problematic but irresistible and inevitable of all gifts?  The excitement at the moment of discovery followed by danger, regret, and maybe even injury?  Not being that bright but ultimately optimistic, I have been Screen shot 2015-12-26 at 9.10.53 AMassuming that will be the final trajectory of the Make America Great Again Crusade of Donald Trump.  Danger. Regret. Injury. I could be wrong.

 

 

Because hoverboards can’t campaign and get out there to lie about how great and smart they are and how they are literally killing the competition, Xboxes are weak, stupid losers….. I am outselling every other Christmas gift…. every survey agrees with me… Barbie has no stamina…. American Girl is low energy… pathetic” (notice the targeted attacks on veteran female dolls!)…. hoverboards may be subject to the laws of truth, experience, and the marketplace of bad products.  There was no way to argue with the dangerous fires that were documented on both social and non-social media of exploding lithium battery-powered hoverboards.  And rest assured that we’ve closed another loophole for ISIS trying to take down an airliner.  Screen shot 2015-12-26 at 9.38.53 AM

 

 

 

Buyers remorse for politicians often takes years, sometimes decades to take hold.  Think how long it took for your dad to admit voting for Nixon wasn’t such a hot idea after all; that he really was a crook.  It’s taken years for some people to regret voting for George W. Bush or Barack Obama, for way too many reasons.  Hoverboards however, are subject to instant analysis that should mean something……Screen shot 2015-12-26 at 9.49.41 AM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…. but probably won’tScreen shot 2015-12-26 at 9.50.20 AM

… no… I mean it! Screen shot 2015-12-26 at 9.50.50 AM

The tiniest amount of thought that hoverboards, which don’t hover and look to me to be skateboards on steroids, would be a dangerous choice for a gift.  The flying image of them from Back to The Future II was enough to overcome reality for many.  In a painful analogy, the tiniest amount of thought that Donald Trump, who does hover endlessly, would be anything but dangerous as president, seems obvious to those of us on the outside looking at this.  The image of Trump from reality tv has been enough to overcome reality for many, too.

—tweets gathered by Gizmodo—-

Homophobes…IN THE NEWS

From G.O.A.T. (Greatest Of All-Time) to goat (horned animal that eats anything and everything)

Daniel Murphy is now a free agent. His team lost the World Series to the Kansas City Royals and now teams with bid for his services and make him a buttload of cash. Slate writer Mark Joseph Stern is happy that Murphy’s Mets lost because he (Murphy) no likey the gays, referring here to Billy Bean, retired gay major league player…

“I disagree with his lifestyle. I do disagree with the fact that Billy is a homosexual. That doesn’t mean I can’t still invest in him and get to know him. I don’t think the fact that someone is a homosexual should completely shut the door on investing in them in a relational aspect. Getting to know him. That, I would say, you can still accept them but I do disagree with the lifestyle, 100 percent.”

I seem to have missed the part where I’m supposed to give a crap whose lifestyle you “disagree with”, Danny Boy, but ok. I don’t expect great enlightenment from my athletes. I expect them to be able to hit a slider or cleanly field a grounder

University system president, on the other hand…

 

 

Incoming UNC system president Margaret Spellings

Meet Margaret Spellings. She’s the incoming president of the University of North Carolina system. The UNC system was respected nationally until Republicans in the legislature declared war on it. Ms. Spellings’ had close ties to our 43rd president, which made her an acceptable candidate to North Carolina Republican legislators. Sure! Who wouldn’t want to break off a piece of the genius that gave us No Child Left Behind

The aforementioned Slate pointed out that Ms. Spellings has problems with certain “lifestyles”. Again, I don’t know what gives certain people the authority to pass judgment, but, we’re entering some weird territory here. Ms. Spelling can and will be in charge of gay employees and students. She has been called on to clarify her lifestyle objections. Of course, if this goes the way many things have gone lately in North Carolina, the legislature will make asking her about homosexuals illegal

It’s been a weird couple of years since the Republicans took over the General Assembly and Governor’s Mansion in North Carolina

Here’s hoping OUR lifestyle in North Carolina gets back to normal sooner rather than later