Friday, June 24, 2016

And speaking of secession...

The Scots, who voted to stay in the UK two years ago, are talking secession again. They say that Scotland should not be taken out of the European Union without its consent.

Scotland voted overwhelmingly for the UK to stay in the EU.

By the way, the First Minister of Scotland is a woman named Nicola Sturgeon. Her predecessor as First Minister and leader of the Scottish Nationalist Party was Alex Salmond. There is something fishy about that, seems to me. 

Yawn.. That Texas secession nonsense is being talked about again

In the wake of the Brexit vote, one of our native flora, the Texas wingnut, has burst into bloom again, reviving the widely believed urban legend that a wholly mythical treaty between the United States and the Republic of Texas facilitating the admission of Texas to the Union contained a provision allowing it to secede at some future date. Even former Gov. Rick Perry made statements a few years ago indicating that he believed the myth, which I understand is actually taught as historical fact in some Texas schools.

The notion is so deeply embedded in the minds of a large minority of Texans that it keeps popping up periodically, The last time it made an appearance was during the Scottish independence referendum campaign in 2014.

But it's still not true. Sorry, unpatriotic Texans. You're stuck with the United States of America.

Is it all a joke?

It has been suggested- seriously- that Donald Trump's candidacy is a Democratic plot. After all, he's a lifelong Democrat whose positions on virtually every issue were the exact opposite of his present ones less than a year ago. He voted twice each for Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. He even invited the Clintons to his wedding. And after all, despite the ongoing delusion of his supporters, throughout the primary campaign the polls showed Trump as not only Hillary's weakest opponent but the only Republican she beat!

It would certainly explain a great deal if all the idiotic things Trump had said and done were part of a gambit to get Hillary elected. In fact, the wholeTrump thing is so crazy that I'm tempted to believe it. I have no doubt that Trump, tinfoil hatter that he is, would believe it if he were in my shoes. After all, he has a weakness for cockeyed conspiracy theories!

Last week a posted a video of a Jimmy Fallon spoof of "The Producers" in which instead of producing a phony musical the titular characters were political managers who planned to make a killing by managing the campaign of an obvious loser- Donald Trump- for president.

This is a variation on both themes. What if Trump's campaign, like Trump himself, is a joke?

The myth of Donald Trump

How a very talented self-promoter and an accompished liar has managed to sell himself as two things he is not: a successful businessman and a skilled deal-maker.

What if Brexit sets a precedent?

John Trump wins

Britain has voted to leave the European Union.

On one hand, I have always personally distrusted the EU. I like the Brits much better.

On the other hand, there will be serious economic consequences as  a result of Britain deciding to leave, not only for the British but for America and for the world. They will not be pretty.

Worse, the vote represents a victory for the British version of Trumpist tribal populism, with all the dangers to Western democratic values that implies. Granted,  Nigel Farage is not an inarticulate, self-worshipping buffoon like Donald Trump. But the values he and the UKIP  represent are at least to some extent just as opposed to the values upon which Anglo-American civilization rests as the largely incoherent rubbish Trump utters.

Pray for the UK and for us all. Seeing the often-snotty Europeans get the door slammed in their faces bothers me not one bit. But passion getting the better of reason is never a good thing, whether the one inflaming it is named Farage or Trump.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

In case you wondered..

The Onion here, in its inimitable way, gives its view of the arguments both for and against the United Kingdom leaving the European Union.

Note the appropriately dry, British-style wit. 

Sometimes walls are metaphorical

There are parallels between Brexit and American Trumpism. Here's an article on the UK's division;  I think it sheds light on our own.

HT: Real Clear World

Just in case you missed it...

...perhaps because, like me, you don't have HBO, here's the concluding portion of what by common consent is not only one of the best "Game of Thrones" episodes ever but a classic piece of television- including a battle scene that would have done credit to an epic Hollywood blockbuster. And to top it all off....

Well, I'm getting ahead of myself.

To set the videos up, Ramsay Bolton (formerly "Snow") is the psychopathic bastard  son of a truly twisted noble house. The sigil of House Bolton is the body of a man who has been flayed alive. Ramsay murdered his legitimate siblings and his own father to become the head of House Bolton. Torturing and flaying people is his hobby  He abuses his dogs. He abuses everybody. He's a consummate sadist.

The Boltons had overrun the keep of the Starks, Winterfell. through the treachery of Ned Stark's ward Theon Greyjoy. Young Bran Stark was wrongly thought to have been killed, and sister Arya Stark posed as a servant, escaped, and began a series of adventures in the East (she's on her way home now). The youngest Stark, Rickon, was taken prisoner. Ramsay rewarded Theon by imprisoning him and having pieces of him flayed until he begged to have them cut off. He ultimately was castrated. That's gratitude for you. I expected Ramsay to die for his crimes at some point, but he deserved more than a clean. simple death. One of the people in a YouTube reaction video remarked that Ramsay was so evil that he turns you evil because of what you want to happen to him.

In the show (though not in the books), sister Sansa Stark is forced to marry Ramsay- the man who killed most of the people she grew up with, burned her home, and whom she believes murdered her younger brother in cold blood and holds her youngest brother captive. He repeatedly and sadistically rapes her. She and Theon- the latter beginning a long and continuing path toward redemption- escape, Theon goes home to the Iron Isles. Sansa goes to her  illegitimate half-brother Jon Snow. Jon was until recently Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, a  kind of monastic military organization manning The Wall in the North that keeps out the savage Wildlings and, worse, the undead White Walkers. I won't get into Jon's backstory any further at the moment. To say that it's complicated is to put it mildly.

Fortunately for everyone, Jon was the first outsider to treat the Wildlings decently and they had become his friends. The Wildlings (including Wun-Wun, the last of a race of giants living north of the Wall) march south with Jon and Sansa with whatever additional support they can find along the way to rescue Rickon and take back the Starks' home. Though Jon refuses to acknowledge it, it is clear that their force isn't nearly big enough to confront Ramsay with any hope of success. But they do it anyway.

Sansa had previously taken refuge with "Littlefinger-" Lord Peter Balish, a Machiavellian schemer who had loved her mother and probably now loves her. But he had betrayed her by sending her to Ramsay, supposedly not knowing what he was like and thinking that it was the best way to keep her safe. Now he is guilt-ridden. He also has access to a large military force, the Knights of the Vale. Sansa, who throughout the show has been growing  the hard way from an innocent,  sheltered and somewhat silly child of the nobility into a "playa,"  writes to him and plays on his guilt in order to get him to bring the knights to their side in the upcoming Battle of Winterfell. But she doesn't tell Jon, who thinks she's still the silly kid he grew up with and refuses to take her advice. As a result of this, his impulsiveness,  and his lack of strategic realism, she doesn't trust him with the knowledge that the swallow-bannered Littlefinger and the Knights of the Vale may be coming to help.

Embedding. it turns out, is disabled. So I'll just link to the videos. Please forgive the overlap.

The beginning.

The second part.

The third.

And here's the conclusion.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Just when you think Trump can't say anything dumber or more inappropriate...

He's told Playboy about the YUUUUGE ego of....Jesus Christ.

Scampaign 2016

Trump supporters, you're being played. We've been warning you for months that you're being taken advantage of by a con man. You wouldn't listen.

So now take a look at what he's doing with your contributions, and why he's suddenly begging you for more.

Congratulations to President Harrison

Meanwhile, belated congratulations to the faithful and courageous earthly leader of my own church body. The Rev. Dr. Matthew Harrison was elected last week to a third term as president of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod

Ours is a conflicted and divided denomination. But it's been blessed in having President Harrison to guide it, The storms may howl and the winds may blow, but the One Whose voice once calmed them on the Sea of Galilee calms them still.

The Word of the Lord indeed abides forever, to quote the Reformation slogan, and as Isaiah proclaimed, it does not return to Him empty but prospers in the thing for which it is sent forth.

May President Harrison and faithful pastors everywhere be upheld by our prayers and by that Word as they share it with a sick society and a dying world which desperately needs it.

Pope Francis is apparently at it again

Pope Francis has been quoted as saying the following about marriage:
“It’s provisional, and because of this the great majority of our sacramental marriages are null. Because they say ‘yes, for the rest of my life!’ but they don’t know what they are saying. Because they have a different culture. They say it, they have good will, but they don’t know.”
From the "who am I to judge?" comment about homosexuality to the present, he has kept saying things which appear not simply to be in conflict with Catholic dogma, but with what has been believed "always, everywhere and by all." In this case, the statement attributed to him directly contradicts Jesus.

There has been a constant stream of "corrections" and "clarifications" and claims- doubtless justified in many cases- that his comments have been distorted or misunderstood. But it's getting harder and harder to rationalize what seems to be a tendency to make rash off-the-cuff statements which undermine what Christianity has taught for two thousand years. He's right, by the way, in saying that Donald Trump- who brags about being an adulterer and says that he doesn't do anything he has to ask God to forgive- is not a Christian. That's not judging him; that's simply taking him at his own word. But even there, the statement needed to be clear and unambiguous and not apologized for, rather than being misleadingly stated and thereafter watered down and neutered by a mealy-mouthed "clarification." A bishop should teach. He should explicate the faith and what it teaches, not obscure it. And liberal Catholicism and mainline Protestantism to the contrary, "apologetics" is defending the Faith, not saying that one is sorry for it!

Since I"m not a Catholic, I will not join the author of the article linked to above in saying that the Pope should resign. But since I'm a Christian, his statements reflect on me, too- and something has got to be done.

Graphic by DonkeyHotey

So much for "self-funding" Trump

I've always found the argument that Donald Trump's wealth makes him immune to corruption and that his "self-funded" campaign makes him independent of special interests to be odd.  These are arguments that he's unaccountable. Perhaps he won't be tempted to corruption, but the abuse of power is another matter. And where The Donald is concerned, that (along with competence and stability) is the real issue.

Well, guess what? The Trump campaign is broke- and he's not self-funded anymore.

There never were very many coherent arguments for voting for The Donald, much less sensible ones. Well, one coherent  but not sensible argument has just evaporated.

Graphic by DonkeyHotey

Time to change the scorecard on Trump bankruptcies

I've repeated the charge that Donald Trump- whose supporters claim is an accomplished businessman who would  bring much-needed managerial acumen to the White House- has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy four times.

Apparently I was wrong. It's at least six times.

I apologize for the mistake.

Graphic by DonkeyHotey

The Donald and the 'F" word

No, not that "F word."

I mean "fascist."

I've used the word about Donald Trump often. I think it fits. I think the failure of many well-meaning Republicans to understand how well it fits lies behind their failure to understand that, as much reason as they have to suspect and even despise Hillary Clinton, voting for Trump in order to defeat her is a mistake.

Here's a summary by Jay Nordlinger of the reasons to believe (or at least to strongly suspect) that The Donald is, in fact, something much darker than Hillary is; that he's an enemy of liberal democracy, an authoritarian, and yes, someone it would at the very least be foolish not to worry about being an outright fascist.

And certainly not a better option than even Hillary Clinton. There comes a point where even asking who represents "the lesser of two evils" becomes morally absurd. There comes a point where all the choices are so evil that it would be wrong to make any or them.

I believe that such is the case in the choice we're offered between Clinton and Trump. But even if one believes otherwise, I don't see how anybody who has seriously considered who and what Donald Trump is can blithely decide that he's a safer choice than Hillary.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The murder of 21 Christian martyrs is more newsworthy than the death of a single gorilla

This from Pastor Ken Klaus's daily devotion from The Lutheran Hour:

NewsBusters is an Internet site which has dedicated itself to pointing out how our news is biased, unfair, inaccurate and, occasionally, idiotic. Recently, one of the NewsBusters' investigations had implications for the Christian community.

The story begins with a gorilla. Yes, you guessed right. We're talking about Harambe, the gorilla we spoke about last week in our devotion. You remember Harambe who was shot when he started mauling a little boy who had climbed into the animal's enclosure.

Well, NewsBusters did a survey of the story as it had been carried by the major networks, you know, ABC, CBS, and NBC. The total time dedicated to the telling of the gorilla's story came to one-hour, 28 minutes, and 17 seconds.

Remember that number.

Next, NewsBusters added up the news time which had been dedicated to the ISIS shooting of some 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians. The ISIS film footage showed how these Christians were forced to kneel and then they were murdered. Before they died most of these martyrs called out their confidence and faith in Jesus Christ.

So there we have two news stories.

One gorilla who was shot and 21 unarmed Christians, who were executed, mob style, by members of another faith. The only thing you don't have is how much time the networks were willing to dedicate to the telling of the believers' plight. Well, I am prepared to give you that number. Compared to almost an hour and a half for the gorilla story, the Christians got 14 minutes and 30 seconds.

No wonder the martyrs in heaven call out, "How long before You will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?"

Actually, "mob style" is putting it mildly. They were beheaded.

I am an animal lover who has all the sympathy in the world for Harambe. I am even guilty sometimes of being more affected emotionally by the suffering of animals, who tend to lack our resources for self-defense, than for that of humans. But there is something obscene not about the attention given to Harambe's tragic death, but about the martyrdom of 21 Christians at the hands of humans who behave like animals and about the fact that we're more moved by Harambe's death than by theirs.

I am more than a little irritated by those who jump from the reprehensible things the Koran says about deceit and murder and the treatment of women to the conclusion that all Muslims strictly follow the teachings of the Koran because they are Muslims any more than all Christians (who should) strictly follow those of the Bible because they are Christians. I recently had a knock-down, drag-out fight (which did none of us credit, if the truth is told) on Facebook with a couple of LCMS pastors who took the bizarre position that because these things are official Muslim doctrine it's somehow fair or even rational to assume (contrary to what we know to be the fact) that everyone who calls himself a Muslim agrees with them. Christians, too, are sinners, and often to obey the Ten Commandments somewhat selectively. That includes the one against bearing false witness. And thankfully, there are indeed Muslims who take a liberal view of the most horrific parts of the Koran as well.

But there is something outrageous about the studied efforts of the White House and the media alike to avoid saying anything which might even hint at the elephant in the room: the fact that Islam has a problem with people who do follow the more demonic teachings of the Koran, or even that there is a connection between this problem and the Koran itself. And there is something even more outrageous about the American media virtually ignoring the martyrdom of 21 human beings who share what is at least the nominal faith of most of their readers and listeners while obsessing so relentlessly about the death- however tragic- of a single gorilla.

"Flung to the Heedless Winds"
by Martin Luther, 1483-1546

1. Flung to the heedless winds
Or on the waters cast,
The martyrs' ashes, watched,
Shall gathered be at last.
And from that scattered dust,
Around us and abroad,
Shall spring a plenteous seed
Of witnesses for God.

2. The Father hath received
Their latest living breath,
And vain is Satan's boast
Of victory in their death.
Still, still, though dead, they speak,
And, trumpet-tongued, proclaim
To many a wakening land
The one availing Name.

Hymn 259
The Lutheran Hymnal
Text: Acts 7: 59
Author: Martin Luther, 1523 st. 9
Translated by: John A. Messenger, 1843
Titled: "Ein neues Lied wir heben an"
Tune: "Denby"
Composer: Charles J. Dale, 1904


As little use as I have for Hillary, this is clearly the best line of the campaign so far.

The struggle with Trumpism is a world-wide struggle

In this most bizarre and irrational of election years, it's very easy for Americans to see the extremism and irrationality of the Trump and Sanders campaigns as a uniquely American phenomenon. The nutty, quasi-Fascist cult of political correctness sweeping the nation's campuses reinforces our impression that ours is a society in which tolerance and civility are dying if not already dead. Alarmed though we may be by the violence and the crazy rhetoric, we seem not to realize that we are by no means alone.

Sohrab Amari points out that on the contrary, the rising tide of illiberalism is a global phenomenon. From Europe to Iran and the Middle East, a tide of authoritarianism and intolerance is sweeping the world.

Trumpism is everywhere, and its followers around the world from  Le Pen to Putin recognize and celebrate each other. This is the hour of the bully all over the world, a time for cursing and scapegoating the Outsider and turning on the principles which have informed and guided not only the United States but Western democracy for centuries. It is the hour of the Leader, of Us versus Them, of the Volkisch state.

As Amari observes, the sides in the resulting conflict tend to defy the usual political categories. The enemies of traditional Western values are to be found both on the Right and on the Left, in Trump and Le Pen but also in the students on the campuses of our great universities. Similarly, as Amari points out, the defenders of those values can be found everywhere from Scandanavian socialists to American Republicans. It's hard for many American conservatives to recognize that the unthinkable Hillary Clinton was, in the context of today's Democratic party, on the same side as they are in the struggle with the Trumps on one hand and the campus crazies on the other. I myself cannot vote for Hillary, as much as I despise Trump; she stands for too much that I despise. But all over the world, the struggle is becoming not so much one of Right versus Left as between tolerance and civility and good will on one hand and narrow, intolerant and brutish tribalism on the other.

Amari's article is an important one, and I commend it to you. I myself am an unapologetic American exceptionalist; I think history bears out my perception that ours is a unique nation with a special role to play both in the world and in history. But to a large extent, that role consists of championing and espousing the very values which the Trumps and the Putins and the Le Pens and the fascists of the campus Left reject. I do not- and cannot- dismiss the significance of the ongoing struggle between the Right and the Left on social and economic and foreign policy issues. But some of the most significant struggles of the Twenty-First Century are already struggles which transcend such categories. More and more, the struggle all over the world is between supporters of Western liberal ideals in the broadest sense of the term and supporters of brutish, narrow tribalism on the other. And supporters of both sides will be found all over the traditional political spectrum.

No, Donald. It's the DEMOCRATS who haven't started yet. And when they do....

Four years ago the Democratic slander machine chewed up a good and decent man, presenting job-saving reorganizations as cynical ploys to earn money and generally misrepresenting Mitt Romney's record and positions.

They are awfully, awfully good at slander. Now, just imagine what they can do when all that's necessary is that they tell the truth. And this year, that's all they have to do. And they will.

Oh, my, but they will.

It's not that Donald Trump's nearly complete ignorance of government and the Constitution and his virtually global illiteracy when it comes to foreign policy hasn't been "outed." His incoherent rambling during the Republican debates exposed him for the ignoramus and bully he is. But he was appealing to an audience that didn't care. The third or so of the Republican electorate that rallied behind Trump and dominated the Republican race was largely motivated by anger, frustration, bigotry and hatred. They didn't notice that Trump was nearly always incoherent and spent most of his time insulting people, calling people names, and mouthing empty platitudes. They didn't mind. As long as Trump served as an outlet for their rage, he didn't have to make sense.

Throughout the GOP primary season, Trump supporters shrugged off the facts about his record, his personality, and his ignorance. They denied them and chose not to know any better. They created a man in their own minds whom they could admire and named him Donald Trump.

The real Trump- the petty narcissist who has made so much money cynically preying upon people just like those who have anointed him as their god-king; the religious hypocrite whose favorite Bible verse is the lex talionis and who brags about his adulteries while claiming that he has no need to ever ask God for forgiveness; the bully who rejoices in mocking the disabled and the weak; the immature counter-puncher who reacts with childish personal attacks whenever anyone criticizes him, however mildly; the babbler who thinks that judges sign laws and conduct investigations and who almost certainly could pass neither a citizenship exam nor a grammar school civics test;  the man who has publicly said that women have to be treated like excrement and follows his own advice- is a man who doesn't have to be lied about. Those angry people boiling over with negative emotions and often inarticulate rage were plentiful enough to form a bloc larger than any other Republican candidate could summon. But they are far too few to win a national election, and the more the rest of the American people learn about the real Donald Trump the more they (nearly three-quarters of whom already view him negatively) will loath him and despise him as the loser he truly is.

Oh, my, will they learn. And while Hillary and the Democrats are carefully laying out the damning and wholly factual case against Donald Trump, Trump will simply continue to make wild, unbelievable, and of course wholly unsubstantiated charges and call people nasty names.

His supporters- those angry men and women who specialize in deceiving themselves- actually think that he's going to win. The media, who have newspapers to sell and sponsors' goods to peddle, have a vested interest in  pretending that this election is going to be competitive. But it won't be.  There are lots of angry Americans who in many cases have good cause to be angry. But most of them are decent folks who would never vote for a man like Donald Trump,  and when they get to know him as the Democrats will be sure they do get to know him they will reject him in disgust.

And there's more. Trump thinks that charisma wins elections. He mocked those who praised President Obama's well-organized campaigns. Trump knows better than the experts. He knows- or thinks he does- that its personality and leadership and force of will- in short, the Fuhrerprinzip-  rather than political organization and a "ground game" that wins elections.

And he is so, so very wrong.

The hour is growing late, and he has virtually no national political organization.  His state organizations- and presidential elections really are fifty separate state elections, each dealing with the peculiarities and nuances of a particular population with a particular makeup that lives in a particular place- are nearly non-existent.

His supporters are very loyal and highly motivated, and could be utilized to man the telephones and knock on the doors that the people who usually do such things for Republican nominees are refusing to do for a man we cannot in conscience support. But the Trumpfolk don't know that they need to those things, and Trump and his organization don't know that they need to have them do those things, and they are all lost in the fantasy that they don't have to.

It's possible that they may wake up at some point and mount enough of a campaign to minimize the looming disaster. Certainly state parties fighting their own local elections will carry part of the load. But the Democrats are organized as the Trumpfolk are not. In fact, Hilary Clinton is organized like few Democrats ever have been. And on Election Day, there will be a bloodbath. Not only will Trump be badly beaten, but his own hubris and political naivete will prevent him from effectively mustering even the support that he has.

Trump may well carry Indiana, perhaps, and maybe a few of the border states. I could be wrong, but I'm guessing that he will do marginally better than Barry Goldwater did in 1964. .Maybe he'll carry Nebraska. He might have an outside chance in Missouri and Kentucky and Tennessee,  though I doubt that will win two of those three. He'll probably carry Oklahoma, but I seriously doubt that he'll carry Texas. My guess, in any case,  is that he will fail to carry any other outside the Deep South, and he may not carry all of the ones in it.

Four years ago, the Democrats managed to define a good man in the eyes of the American people by telling lies and half-truths about him.  The Democratic attack machine is a well-funded and awesome thing. It reaches not only into America's living rooms but into every union hall and teachers' lounge and fern bar. This year, all it has to do is tell the truth about Donald Trump.

Four years ago one of the best-funded and organized campaigns any Republican presidential candidate has ever mounted was waged. Massive efforts were made to identify Romney voters and get them to the polls. It failed in some measure because the Romney people tried to beat the Obama campaign at their own, high-tech game, and the technology they applied was a disaster. Project Orca was a debacle, but at least it was an effort- and in many ways an impressive, well-organized and well-funded effort.

But no such effort will be made for Donald Trump. He doesn't think he needs it. And he's wrong about that- horribly wrong- just as he's wrong in thinking that what worked in the primaries is going to work in the general election. As much as I despise everything Hillary Clinton stands for, beginning with the battle for the minds of the voters this summer and ending with the "ground game" in the Fall Donald Trump and his supporters are in for a series of very rude and very brutal awakenings. It's too late to choose a different candidate, and before long  it will soon be too late to even mount an effective ground game for the terrible one they have.

It is going to be a historic landslide- and Trump and his people will blame it not on a fatally flawed candidate and a hopelessly clueless approach to the running of the national campaign but on "traitors" who never owned as un-Republican and un-American a nominee as Donald Trump their loyalty in the first place.

Monday, June 20, 2016

The Trump bubble has finally burst.

Nate Silver's reports that the statistical magic which led Donald Trump to his unlikely success in the primaries has deserted him in the general election.

At this point in the primary campaign, he was ahead by ten points. Now, in one of the closer polls, he's down to Hillary by six.

Nor is it hard to see why. Trump only got about a third of the vote in the primaries. He succeeded because his opposition was so divided, and a relatively limited and  marginal group of supporters was sufficient for him to win because it was significantly larger than the number of supporters any one of his opponents had.

But there is only one Hillary Clinton. Oops.

Perhaps the rest of us should be grateful for that. But it's the worst possible news for The Donald, whose relatively low voter ceiling isn't going to help him now that he can't rely on a divided opposition to artificially magnify his relatively limited support- especially since such a large number of Republicans are planning to vote for Hillary or for a third party candidate, or simply stay home rather than vote for a nominee who is utterly unacceptable to them.

It must be discouraging to be a candidate trying to win an election when only 29% of the voters see you favorably. 

I never knew about these trees

And since they grow in the United States, you'd think more people would.

Don't eat the fruit of, burn the wood of, take shelter from the rain under, touch the sap of, or otherwise interact with the manchineel tree. In fact, if you're anywhere near it, bow to it politely and address it as "sir." And in a quiet, deferential voice. From a distance.

ADDENDUM: My friend Lisa Stapp suggests an alternate name for the manchineel tree: "the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil." Whatever you do, ignore any snake that tries to get you to nibble!

She won't do it.

Joni Ernst will be a great president some day.

But I don't believe she's capable of the betrayal of her supporters and of everything she stands for that would be involved in agreeing to be Donald Trump's running mate.

I can understand the speculation. But she won't sell out to an unstable, authoritarian and anti-conservative racist.

Donald's bad luck. Iowa's good fortune.

I wonder whether Ramsay Bolton made his own gravy?

The GIF that keeps on giving:

Sunday, June 19, 2016




I was wondering how they would find a satisfying death for a monster like Ramsay, Well, they sure did.

If the Obama admnistration made horror movies...

Why should this be a surprise to anybody?

So the election is turning into a referendum on Donald Trump, the man with the 70% disapproval rating from the voters (Hillary's is 55%).

So this is a surprise to exactly who?

Hey. Those "angry" voters who threw their tanTrump in the primaries have also thrown an otherwise certain presidential victory right out the window. When Trump and the Republican party are obliterated this November, it will be their fault and nobody else's.

Which won't stop them from blaming those who have more sense than they do. But then, they voted for Donald Trump.

And yeah- Jeb Bush did warn them. So did a lot of us.