Thursday, August 30, 2018

The Black and White of Trump's America

The Florida gubernatorial campaign started in earnest this week after the primaries produced two surprise candidates: a white Republican named Ron DeSantis who was personally chosen by Donald Trump, and a black Democrat named Andrew Gillum who was endorsed by Bernie Sanders.
And here's what the white guy said in his first Fox News interview:
"You know, he is an articulate spokesman for those far-left views and he's a charismatic candidate. The last thing we need to do is to monkey this up by trying to embrace a socialist agenda with huge tax increases and bankrupting the state."
So, in his very first national comment about his opponent, DeSantis managed to get in both ARTICULATE and MONKEY. He could have used thousands of other words, but he carefully selected those.
Bravo, sir! Way to stir up the racist base!
When called on it, naturally DeSantis feigned ignorance and his apologists feigned outrage:
How could anybody even think think this was about race? "Articulate" is a compliment! Our hero obviously wasn't calling his opponent a "monkey"! It's absurd that anybody could possibly think the white guy was intentionally using dog-whistle terms when talking about the black guy! If anything, this is reverse racism, which as everybody knows is worse than actual racism!
In Trump's America, racists and misogynists and anti-Semites need not sneak around in the shadows. They need not wear hoods. They need not work behind the scenes to push their divisive agenda.
No, they are free to come right out into the open and do their thing ... whether it's "some very fine people" marching with torches and chanting "blood and soil" ... or a white gubernatorial candidate using "monkey" in his first public comment about his black opponent.

Monday, August 27, 2018

McCain remembered ... 8 years in NC ... kids show adults how to behave ... another mass shooting by a white guy

Since John McCain died Saturday, many are sharing their favorite memories of the Vietnam War hero and U.S. senator from Arizona.

Mine comes from a town hall meeting that was held in a Minneapolis suburb shortly before the 2008 election.

A man took the microphone and said, "Frankly, we're scared of an Obama presidency." 

McCain's response:

First of all, I want to be president of the United States, and obviously I do not want Senator Obama to be. But I have to tell you: He is a decent person, and a person who you do not have to be scared of as president of the United States.

There was some grumbling in the crowd, and an older woman took the mic: “I can’t trust Obama. I’ve read about him, and … he’s an Arab!”

McCain shook his head, took back the mic, and responded:

No, Ma’am. No, Ma’am. He’s a decent family man and citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues. And that’s what this campaign is all about.

For those interested, here's a YouTube clip of those exchanges:

You just don't find that kind of decency in politics any more. Heck, it's difficult to find that kind of decency outside of politics here in the Divided States of America. 

I'll always respect John McCain for that, and more. He was a great American.


This week marks the 8-year anniversary of me and Roberta moving from Chicago to Charlotte.

Our N.C. experience has been interesting. When we arrived, the state was considered the "Progressive New South." Politically, it was purple, having voted narrowly for Barack Obama in 2008 but populated by millions of conservatives, too. 

Republicans gained big all over the nation in the 2010 midterms, and nowhere was the gain bigger than in my new state. Less than 3 months after we arrived, the GOP assumed control. They used their new-found power to gerrymander the hell out of every voting district. They have passed one draconian law after another -including many that courts have struck down as racist or homophobic - making the state not very welcoming politically to Independents like me and to Democrats.

Politics aside, I do like much about where we live. Our neighbors are nice, our weather is mostly great, Roberta gets tremendous satisfaction from her challenging job, I have enjoyed coaching basketball here, we like the craft-beer scene and some other social things, and we have made many good friends. And even though folks here complain about the traffic, it is a breeze compared to what we left behind in Chicago.

Nevertheless, I honestly don't see us making this our permanent home. For one thing, our kids are too far away. But I wouldn't be surprised if we spend 8 more years here before we go.

Bottom line: If I were rating our NC experience, I'd borrow a word the kids today like to use: It's been "aiight."


Obama, who opposed McCain for the presidency in 2008, will speak at McCain's funeral.

Joe Biden, who as Obama's vice-presidential nominee often criticized McCain's policies, will speak at the funeral.

George W. Bush, who went toe-to-toe with McCain for the 2000 Republican presidential nomination, will speak at McCain's funeral.

Donald Trump? He was asked by McCain's family to stay far, far away.

How big a jerk must a sitting president be to specifically be asked not to attend the funeral of a U.S. senator and war hero?

Nuff said.


I really enjoyed the Little League World Series this year. The winning team, Hawaii, played spectacularly. More than that, they were among the many participants who showed exemplary sportsmanship throughout the event.

(AP Photo)

They all made America look really good, and the international teams were fine ambassadors for their countries, too.

Now, if more adults would only take a cue!


Yet another mass shooting - this time at a gaming event in Jacksonville, Fla.

Where is the president to demand that all white males be deported?

I mean, white men just keep shooting into crowds, gunning down our fellow Americans, so obviously we all have to go.

But hey ... we've had a pretty good run, haven't we, boys?

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Trumpian Logic

Here's Donald Trump on July 18, 2015, talking about. U.S. Sen. John McCain, who spent 5 1/2 years in a North Vietnamese prison (after courageously refusing to use his father's influence to be freed if it meant those with him would be left behind):

He’s not a war hero. He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.

(An hour later, Trump being Trump, he denied saying McCain wasn't a war hero - yep, denied the exact words he just said! Deferment Don also couldn't remember which foot supposedly had the bone spurs that kept the coward from having to serve.)

Photo from AFP/Getty Images

Now, here's Trump on August 22, 2018, talking about Paul Manafort, his former campaign manager, who probably will spend the rest of his life in prison after being convicted of 8 felonies:

I feel very badly for Paul Manafort and his wonderful family. "Justice" took a 12 year old tax case, among other things, applied tremendous pressure on him and, unlike Michael Cohen, he refused to "break" - make up stories in order to get a "deal." Such respect for a brave man!

Photo from Getty Images

So, to recap ...

Deferment Don has no respect for a decorated war hero who volunteered to serve his country. Because, you know, that man was captured.

But he has "such respect" for a multiple-count felon who served nobody except Trump (and himself). Even though, you know, that man was captured.

McCain is not heroic ... but Manafort is "brave."

This is the world according to dishonest, egomaniacal, dangerously ignorant Donald Trump, the most corrupt president ever.

Monday, August 13, 2018

We Need A Decent President Like John Kasich - Also, fun with Tiger, the KKK and Omarosa

I just watched Ohio Gov. John Kasich for 10+ minutes on NBC's Meet The Press ... and I couldn't help but feel sad.

He would have been SO much better president than the two people on the 2016 ballot, it isn't funny.

I strongly suggest that everybody who cares about our great democratic republic watch this video:

I can hear my friends from both side of the aisle now. Some of my liberal friends will say he is too conservative on issues such as abortion and say they would worry about the kinds of Supreme Court justices he would appoint. Some of my conservative friends will call him a RINO or "too establishment."

As a registered Independent who is a centrist on most economic issues and left-of-center on most social issues, I am not entirely comfortable with some of his platforms or with his tendency to drift toward religiosity.

However, I am about getting our country moving the right direction again. Kasich knows how to govern, he knows that bringing Americans together (and not dividing us) is the answer, he is reasonable and pragmatic, and I really do think he is a good human being.

Those last three words alone make him a bazillion times better than the immoral, corrupt racist currently in command.

I am disappointed in Republicans for letting themselves get conned into nominating a me-first, un-American, unstable liar - not to mention a guy who, as Kasich pointed out, is neither a Republican nor a conservative.

And I am disappointed in Democrats that they couldn't have put forward a candidate better than the flawed, dishonest person they nominated. As an adjunct, I am disappointed that Dems didn't come out to vote for the person they did nominate. I hope y'all are happy with the results of your apathy: the most corrupt president in history.

Here's hoping Kasich, a true leader who actually wants to lift all Americans rather than divide us, runs for president in 2020.

Unless the Dems nominate somebody really darn good, Kasich will get my vote.


The last two golf majors have been a lot of fun, mostly because Tiger Woods - who had been sidelined and/or weakened for most of this past decade by personal problems, injuries, swing flaws and lack of confidence - is good enough to contend again.

Sunday's final round of the PGA Championship was filled with thrills as Tiger came charging from behind to pull within a stroke of Brooks Koepka down the stretch. But as had been the case at the British Open last month, Tiger made a couple of crucial mistakes. And as had been the case at the U.S. Open in June, Koepka simply was too good in the clutch for the rest of the field.

It's incredible that golf has gone 10 full years without Tiger having won a single major; he had captured 14 titles in his first dozen years on tour, and seemingly was a shoo-in to surpass Jack Nicklaus' record of 18. Heck, Tiger hasn't won any tournament at all, major or minor, since 2013.

Sunday, he had a drunk driver - it kept steering him miles from the fairway. But he responded by repeatedly escaping from horrific situations thanks to some of the most incredible iron shots we've seen since ... well ... since Tiger was TIGER! a decade ago.

After claiming for several years that "I'm close," he does finally look close to being one of the world's great golfers again. If he had driven the ball even OK at the PGA, he probably would have won.

One thing for sure, though: Today's pros are no longer intimidated by "The Tiger Factor" as they once were

At the British, his playing partner, Francesco Molinari, waved off Woods' comeback attempt to pull off an impressive victory. And Sunday, Koepka ignored the raucous cheers of Tiger's massive gallery to drill 340-yard drives right down the middle of the fairway and follow with practically perfect approach shots.

Given that he has won 3 of the last 6 majors - the 2017 and 2018 U.S. Opens and now the PGA - Koepka certainly has the look of Best Player in the World right now.

Will Eldrick T. Woods, who turns 43 in December, be able to prove he consistently can play with Koepka and the many other fine young pros - guys who were pre-teens during Tiger's heyday?

That will be the story line of the 2019 season.


After watching the PGA Championship, Roberta and I went with another couple to go see BlacKkKlansman - the Spike Lee film that was based on the true story of a black cop infiltrating the Klan in Colorado Springs in the 1970s.

It was an amazing film, smartly written and extremely well acted. Given the backdrop of the 1-year anniversary of the deadly Charlottesville white-supremacist rally, it was extra interesting.

Several scenes reminded the audience that, even 40 years later, we haven't come as far in race relations as one might have thought or hoped.

Warning: Despite the opportunity to hear white folks use every epithet in the book to describe black people and Jews ... racists probably will not enjoy BlacKkKlansman.

Spoiler alert: The Klan doesn't come out looking very good.

David Duke, don't say I didn't warn you - and your hero, Donald Trump.


I was proud to be an American on Sunday.

Counter-protesters outnumbered white supremacists by more than 100-to-1 at a "White People Can't Catch A Break In America" whine-a-thon held in Washington on the 1-year anniversary of Charlottesville.

A few Nazis tried to stage a similar "celebration" in Charlottesville, but there too they were dwarfed by the number of decent Americans shouting them down.

What really made me proud is that there was no violence at either location; it would have been easy for protesters to have been egged into it by the racist, anti-Semitic douchebags who have been emboldened by the leaders of our country.


I wouldn't be surprised if a recording surfaced proving that Trump used the N-word and other racial epithets, as reality-show-personality-turned-presidential-adviser Omarosa Manigault Newman claimed Sunday on Meet the Press.

Nevertheless, Omarosa wasn't an especially convincing person to make that or any other charge.

Like pretty much everybody crammed into Spanky's Clown Car, she spent her time serving the president by being a liar who cared far more about "what's in it for me" than about our country. She admitted to being complicit with our "truly racist" president ... but it rings pretty hollow now, as she makes the circuit to promote the anti-Trump book she wrote after being fired last December.

Still, it was hilarious (and yet sad) to watch her get attacked by members of Spanky's staff - people who have spent two years lying on his behalf.

Her book is "riddled with lies and false accusations," said Sarah Sanders Huckabee, whose job as chief liar for the Liar In Chief depends upon her willingness to lie dozens of times a week.

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway criticized Omarosa for turning against Trump after having praised him. Of course, Conway was extremely critical of Trump when she was working for Ted Cruz, but she had no problem turning on Cruz and becoming yet another town liar after Spanky hired her. It was Conway, remember, who coined the term "alternative facts."

The most intriguing part of Sunday's interview was the recording Omarosa played of chief of staff John Kelly firing her in the Situation Room.

Omarosa secretly recorded the interaction, which is against protocol but seemingly not against the law. Holding such a meeting not in his office but in the Situation Room, which is only supposed to be used for top-secret matters of national security, also would appear to go against protocol.

Listeners could clearly hear Kelly threatening and trying to intimidate Omarosa - referring to "difficulty in the future relative to your reputation" if she didn't go quietly.

Many are criticizing Omarosa for making the recordings, but frankly it's hard to blame her. Having swam in Spanky's Swamp for more than a year, she knew exactly what she was dealing with, and she knew nobody would have believed her account.

Again, listening to Spanky sycophants talk about the lack of protocol in the White House is precious, given that their hero uses knee-jerk Twitter proclamations to make policy, lash out at allies, praise dictators and lie non-stop.

As usual, the Trump Administration is an embarrassment to our great nation. It's a dangerous operation with an unhinged leader surrounded by deplorable people.

It is, in a word, a shit-show.