Right off the bat, I thought it was great that in the hours following President Obama’s announcement that he would veto a bill requiring a tougher screening process for Syrian refugees, two Syrian refugees were busted trying to enter the U.S. from the Mexican border. Which is more impressive, I wonder- the fact that two Syrian refugees were actually prevented from entering the country, or the fact anyone illegal at all was stopped from entering the country from the Mexican border? Then, some 450 pork tamales were seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents at Los Angeles International Airport two and a half weeks ago, so there’s that- still can’t stop Mexicans from illegally entering the country, but the batting average against Mexican food is climbing.
For someone who is already taking quite a bit of heat for missing a ton or work in the Senate as of late, Rubio really showed where his priorities are- mainly raising money to keep himself relevant as a potential running mate. If I were in Rubio's tiny wooden shoes, I would damn sure be at a briefing like this. I would be there because it is my job, and with recent events, who would be willing to call me out for going back to work? Not to mention, the inside baseball would certainly improve my positioning in foreign policy, something else I believe has been mentioned a lot recently.
I have said in the past I respect Rubio for deciding not to run for reelection while focusing on his Presidential bid, but this is a prime example of putting all your chips on the table and leading with a pair of twos.
Not sure what values Mrs. Clinton is talking about- the value where we can have our representative government pull out breathless fearmongering and a full deck of patriotism cards to get away with civil rights swindles like the Patriot Act, or nonsensical, expensive, and laughably ineffective boondoggles like the TSA? We should value immigrants, we should support refugees, but there is no way we should do so by just letting whoever in and then waiting for something bad to happen before figuring maybe we should have done some homework., With millions of people illegally in the country, the fact there are complaints about the demand for some background information is puzzling.
I know the argument is there, these people are refugees, and didn't have time to clean out safe deposit boxes when they ran for their lives. I understand all that, but there should not be so much to do about the simple subject of merely undertaking the effort.
So there I was, fiddling around with some things, working the social media, when it occurred to me that it had been a minute since I had drilled down a bit on the Twitter to make sure everything was as kosher as possible.
Excellent. Just as I had hoped. The last time I checked, which was around 25,000 followers, I was also at 0%, and that was after cleaning out a lot of chum, inactive followers, and egg people. While I was at it, I decided to check up on my inexplicable presidential social media rival, former Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee, who was about 12,000 back during the last check. 22,400+ followers. Hmmm, Chafee seemed to be gathering steam on social media, which was weird since he sure as hell isn't gathering steam anywhere else in his campaign.
That explains it. 4,400 or so fake followers. That's a little disappointing. I mean, President Obama only has a 7% fake score, so what the hell, Lincoln? I know things look bleak as fuck, especially since the debate, but dock the $10 those followers cost out of whichever intern's pay that though it was a good idea. If you have any interns, that is.
Then again, Chafee might as well go after the #FakeTwitter vote, 'cause he sure as hell isn't having much luck with the real life voting populace.
Yeah, so the first Democratic debate came and went last night, with nothing resembling fireworks or gotcha moments gumming up the news cycle. The morning after, however, held plenty of news proclaiming presumed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton the winner, a victory in loose senses of the term.
While Sen. Bernie Sanders showed he was ready for everything but guns and foreign policy, the other three: Jim Webb, Martin O'Malley, and nowhere man Lincoln Chafee struggled for airtime, or anything substantive to say when given that airtime. The most damning moment for the three also-rans was when CNN even referred to them in a on-screen graphic as "the other three."
This is where I find myself in a crossroads when it comes to the subject of whether or not there should be more than six Democratic debates. On the one hand, I can agree with Rep. Tulsi Gabbard's take on the lack of discourse being presented, but on the other, they want more of this? Even Don King fights back in the day were less transparent than this. The DNC wants Hillary to win, therefore she got the most talking time. The closest challenger, in terms of popularity and fundraising, was given the next closest amount of time. Then Webb, O'Malley, and Chafee, the veritable who's who of who's that again?, were given the scraps to fight over for the audience's amusement.
What I, personally, would love to see, would be former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura wind up gaining the Libertarian Party nomination and somehow make it onto a debate stage with Hillary and whomever the Republicans can keep the vomit down for the most. Outside of the challenge getting beyond the threshhold that bars most candidates, something I doubt Gov. Ventura would have much of a problem with, I would like to see the political establishment truly put on notice by a unconventional candidate that actually knows what the hell they are talking about.
Since I won't be anywhere near a mainstream debate stage in this presidential election, guess I am going to have to remain hopeful "The Body" will step in to take care of my light work...
With reports breaking earlier in the day that Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) had been dis-invited from attending the first Democratic presidential debate, one has to wonder if the DNC is not so much interested in keeping the White House or regaining one of the houses of Congress as they are playing keep-up when it comes to inaction, dysfunction, or flat-out stupidity.
Apparently, Rep. Gabbard drew the ire of Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL) and the rest of the DNC power structure when she made some comments on MSNBC,regarding the reluctance of the Dems to schedule more debates than the six currently planned, which is becoming an area of contention as of late for the left.
The comments were enough to warrant a phone call from Wasserman-Schultz, the DNC chair, which elicited rumors of being dis-invited or simply being asked to tone it down and avoid creating another divisive issue for the Democrats, depending on who was asked. The bottom line of whether Gabbard was still going to attend (Democratic Presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders has a ticket for her if all else fails).
Speaking to the New York Times, Gabbard went on to say “It’s very dangerous when we have people in positions of leadership who use their power to try to quiet those who disagree with them. “When I signed up to be vice chair of the D.N.C., no one told me I would be relinquishing my freedom of speech and checking it at the door.”
What a mess. With the implosion currently underway in the Republican Party, all the Democrats had to do was sit back, be quiet, and try to complete their goal of ramming the inferior Clinton down our throats (still better than the last time a Clinton was rammed down someone's throat), but no, that wasn't even enough. A perfect opportunity to put on the appearance of being a party cohesive enough to not have much of a trainwreck approaching the debate podiums (by way of comparison), and maybe even be capable of doing some of that governance we occasionally hear about, and Rep. Wasserman-Schultz and the DNC power structure crap on it.
There is a very simple reason the DNC only wants six debates- the less they have to challenge Hillary with anything other than the chance to respond to the opposition, the better. For a candidate to have already had such a ponderous campaign, even with the vast majority of legacy media in the bag for her, the fact the general public perception of her is she's as crooked as a duck's dick should be stressing the DNC out more than the idea of an incredibly weak candidate pool in six nowhere debates. The idea they would schedule the debate during the Major League Baseball playoffs speaks volumes to a party hoping to fly this one under major scrutiny until they see how their chosen one handles answering questions she might not want to answer. Don't get me wrong, it would be great to see her walk away from the podium with her arms out about a third of the way in. Sad part is, even if that happened, Lincoln Chafee would still finish last somehow.
Earlier today, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill that would make his state the second in the country (along with Oregon) to automatically register people getting driver's licenses as voters.
While citizens can opt-out of the voter registration system, the move to automatic enrollment comes after record low voter participation in last year's elections. California Secretary of State Alex Padilla went on record after the signing as saying the right to vote is "fundamental," and that as with other rights such as free speech, the people should not have to opt-in as with the right to vote.
There has been much debate over voting rights in recent months, and I am all for measures such as this, because it not only makes voting easier (are you listening, Alabama?), but it also ties voting to having a photo ID, another issue that can create quite a bit of contention. I'm not as sure I would completely agree with Padilla's take on fundamental rights, especially given the government's ability and willingness to take away those fundamental rights (such as voting) when the circumstances dictate. I guess we should just take the small victories and hope they keep adding up.
But in a state that also issues driver's licenses to illegal immigrants, how will this affect the automatic enrollment plan? I'm not trying to cast shadows of suspicion on this voting measure, but is there going to be a mechanism in place to prevent illegal immigrants from being registered as voters? Growing up in Illinois, I am already used to dead people voting, but I know it's a whole different set of messes in California.
Then again, while it's nice to have a more significant portion of your population registered to vote, how do you then address the other problems inherent with the voting process, such as independent and third-party candidate access, and even getting people to the ballot boxes in the first place? If the people that are already registered aren't rushing polling places on Election Day, how is making sure there are more people registered going to improve those numbers?
Is the question now not who's minding the store, but rather what difference does it make since the store hasn't been selling much of anything in the past seven or eight years?
The establishment GOP and the conservative GOP are now gloves off at center ice over the next Speaker of the House, as presumptive favorite Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the House Majority Leader, suddenly withdrew his bid to replace outgoing Speaker John Boehner this afternoon. With no clear winner in sight, the Speaker election has been postponed, Boehner said he's sticking around until his replacement can actually be found, and at last report was begging Paul Ryan over the phone to take a shot, even though Ryan had already said his gracious 'oh hell, no!' earlier in the day, rather to the point stating "I will not be a candidate."
What a clusterfuck. After all the hype Boehner and Sen. Mitch McConnell have been building on the Republican brand, now the Speaker's position is up for grabs and no one's quite sure who has the long enough arm. The House Republicans have got some heavy lifting in the upcoming weeks with the impending debt crisis next month, and not only being, but looking rudderless, was not the brand image they had hoped for.
It comes down to McCarthy no longer being confident in his ability to convince either side of the aisle he was not going to be an extension of John Boehner. This is why the Freedom Caucus threw their support behind Rep. Daniel Webster (FL). They haven't been convinced for a while, and their efforts eventually drove Boehner to announce his resignation. This leaves House Oversight chair Rep. Jason Chaffetz (UT) and Webster as the two guys who want the job at present.
And what a job awaits the victor, if that's what one would call the new Speaker. An impending budget crisis, with the typical shutdown play right up front in the playbook, and a party teetering on the brink of internal war, who wouldn't want to be the guy facing the sea steering the damn boat?
With the presidential primaries on the horizon, how is the GOP supposing to gain voters when they can not, at present, show them they even are a cohesive political party? It is the breakdowns such as this that make the inexperienced candidates the front-runners in their own primary race. This is the set-up for a Trump nomination, which would be the stake in the heart of the Republican Party as we know it. Not that I'm saying a stake in the heart for the GOP is a bad thing, I'm just not convinced a Trump candidacy is the appropriate cost.
The fact I've heard even one Republican congressman talk about "broken government" at any level is amusing, given the fact his party, the party that controls Congress, is broken as hell right now, here in real time. The idea the system is still broken, even when both major parties are supposedly in harmony, is irritating. The fact this will mean only a negligible bump in third party or independent voting is even more irritating. The challenge is not getting used to it.
"...how I choose to express or represent my opinions, last time I checked, is strictly of my own concern. When acting in my capacity as the Comm Dir for the LPCC, I use professional language suitable for the situation, because I am representing the party. If I choose to use that language on my website or my social media network, to promote myself or my creative projects/business interests, then I realize the possibility of turning off a segment of the people that promotion is reaching. That is a chance I take as a businessperson. Freedom is an F word, also, even when it applies to speech, sir."
Tune in tomorrow night, as I will be appearing around 9:20 on Miami's The Andrew Powell Show. Much thanks to Andrew for reaching out and getting this interview set up. While the campaign is working on getting qualified in more states, we are also getting ready to knuckle down and get more interviews and media coverage over the next few months.
Keister Withdraws From Town Council Bid:
Libertarian Candidate Encounters Paperwork Snafu Invalidating Candidacy
Clarksville, Indiana – July 30, 2015 – The campaign by Libertarian Party candidate Thomas Keister for the Clarksville Town Council District Three seat in the November general election has come to an end, as a paperwork error led to his candidacy being ruled invalid.
According to County Clerk Susan Popp, under Indiana Code 3-13-1-20, the amended notice of intent to fill a ballot vacancy was not received by the June 22 deadline as set by the Indiana Election Division. The error went unnoticed by the clerk’s staff, who notarized, stamped and filed the document on the final candidate filing date of June 30.
The campaign had marked Keister’s first foray into Clarksville and Clark County politics after four previous campaigns in Floyd County with the Libertarian Party.
While a candidate, Keister took stances for District Voting and helped inform many in South Clarksville about the South Clarksville Redevelopment Plan currently under discussion, promising more transparency and direct contact between the Town Council and the public.
Keister says: “It is disappointing that the campaign has to come to an end. The people of Clarksville still have two strong Libertarian candidates in Russell Brooksbank and Greg Hertzsch to vote for and provide the kind of reasoned and accountable councilmen the town deserves.”
Keister plans to spend the rest of the election cycle publicizing the candidates and helping to inform the community through his work as Communications Director of the Libertarian Party of Clark County (LPCC), including the continued development of the LPCC’s new website. The LPCC can be found on Facebook, and can be contacted via email at email@example.com
Typical. Very typical. It is not like I attempt to call of work that often, because A) I have a work ethic, even when it's shitty job such as the one I have, and B) who can afford to? So, anyhow my attempt at a call-in turned into a half-day, because I'm a sucker, a later trip to give a co-worker a ride to work due to car trouble, because I'm a nice guy, and the revelation of more unrealistic nonsense from the higher ups on the chain, because as aforementioned, I have a shitty job.
At least I'm civic-minded. This has been brewing for a week or so, but with more formal contact between the LPCC Chair, Kelley Curran, and Susan Popp, Clark County Clerk, I figured I might as well share the news.
Now, I'm just operating on assumptions here, but I think myself, along with the Libertarian Party of Clark County and the Clark County Tea Party Patriots, have made some people nervous. Too many questions being asked the Town Council didn't want asked, and not enough satisfactory answers to go around. And they are getting scared about lil ole me entering the race? Not at all. They are getting scared that three Libertarians candidates were lining up, and the square dancing that went down at the Rally for Old Clarksville drove that point home.
My electoral history speaks for itself: 2% (2004), 2% (2006), 4% (2007), and 1.2% (2011). Obviously a reason for the mainstream parties (whichever one is behind this) to sweat. Stay tuned. There will obviously be more to come...
Not really a lot of explanation needed here. If not for a body camera, this would be simply be another dead offender that had it coming. Good for Cincinnati for getting to the bottom of things quickly, handing down an indictment, and addressing the situation and offering the solutions they have in motion to prevent future incidents like this. Even better for Cincinnati that the city stayed vigilant for answers and justice, not simply angry and rioting.
While over the past few weeks, I have taken a little bit of heat on Twitter for my stance on the police, I will maintain here just as I have there that I am not anti-police, I am anti-bad police. There is an obvious world of difference between the two, and a badge should not have the ability to hypnotize people into backing murder and calling it law and order.
It was not as though I expected anything less from Mitch McConnell. As the GOP was settling into the seat of power following a decisive mid-term election victory last November, Senate Majority Leader McConnell promised "dramatic change" in contrast to the tenure of outgoing Majority Leader Harry Reid. Remember that phrase..."dramatic change."
McConnell said this dramatic change would come about by decentralizing power in a Senate that has accomplished so little in the past six years the American public is about ready to start holding a mirror under its face in the mornings, just to be sure. He also gave lip service to getting committee working again and open up the legislative process, a "return to regular order," in his words. Then again, he also made it a point to bring up recommitting to "a rational, functional appropriations process," because well, it's Mitch Damn McConnell. The pork's back on the plate, and Mitch brought his big ass fork, is the simple way to translate any rationality or functionality he may have been referring to when it comes to appropriations.
Continuing forth, McConnellesque in his determination, the Majority Leader said that the voters, who have lost faith in government and no longer trusts Washington, want a 21st century government, modern and streamlined instead of the perpetually deepening pit of suck we currently labor under. The GOP is going to pursue tax reform, opening global markets to American exports, and infrastructure projects like the Keystone XL pipeline.
Okay, for those of you keeping score at home, Sen. McConnell said:
1. Change, and dramatic change at that, is coming.
2. It's high time Congress got its shit together.
3. He's almost feral at the thought of getting appropriations back the way he likes it.
4. It's time to cut the sausage-making out of government and streamline it.
5. The GOP is going to fix taxes, American global trade, and infrastructure, right after...
They go back to the fucking well on abortion again.
Yes, America, I hear ya. God damn it, so much.
Yes sir, that some pretty dramatic change, if by pretty dramatic change you meant going back to page three in your fucking playbook! You could have come out with a plan, an idea, a hastily scribbled notion on a cocktail napkin on immigration, but you're just now sitting down to come up with a strategy. Really? Throughout the mid-term campaign, and in the afterglow of victory, this whole time the GOP was shadowboxing? The fact the Democrats were knocked out in part by a phantom punch should give them a moment for pause. A couple of moments, if necessary, in case Nancy Pelosi needs to change her facial expression.
I guess you could forgive the Republicans for a bit of a stumble out of the gates. Guess they still had some glitter in their eyes from the day before. Let's hope the next big topic they pounce on is something possible closer to relevance. Maybe even something that trends on occasion. Otherwise, this drama Mitch McConnell is producing is going to start needing a laugh track.
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(Best Overall Writing)
2011 Blogger's Choice Awards