The Only Way to Win Is Cheat*

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I was going to say, “For the benefit of my Republican friends,” but then I realized that I have had fewer and fewer Republican friends over the past four years. I’m not sure I have any right now.

Most political parties and candidates base their campaigns on some variant of “Vote for ME! Have your friends vote for me! Everybody should vote for me!” It’s a reasonable approach and often sometimes successful. However, based on recent legislation in several states, it is not effective for Republicans.

The Republicans are taking more measures to make voting difficult. They are restricting mail-in-ballots (which have demonstrated very little voter fraud), early voting (which have demonstrated very little voter fraud), limiting voting locations and shortening hours for voting. Why? Because if an informed populace votes, the Republicans fear that they will lose.

They’re probably right.

*Painless’ Suicide, the theme song for M*A*S*H.

RIP GOP

This past weekend, the Republican Party slipped the surly bonds of Earth. The passing went unnoticed by many Americans, since the party has made little to no significant difference to anyone for at least the last decade.

For much of the twentieth century, the Republicans suffered from scandals and missteps, starting with the Teapot Dome Scandal during the Warren G. Harding Administration, followed by the collapse of the U.S. Economy under Herbert Hoover. Perhaps the most difficult period was 1969-1974, when Richard Nixon was elected and re-elected, before resigning to avoid impeachment.

The Republican Party has suffered from several ailments in recent years. Although not diagnosed as dementia or Alzheimer’s, it has had a difficult time separating truth from fiction. This has resulted in violent reactions to normal activities, such as elections. It was confirmed on Saturday that a major contributing factor to the demise was due to lack of a spine.

There will be no memorial or graveside service since most members are in deep denial and those not affiliated are glad to see the party go. The estate is expected to be left to Donald Trump and family.

Book Review: Thumbs Down

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By virtue of being dead, yet sentient, for over 2,000 years, I have plenty of time to read. At first, I read every factual tome I could find. Of course, as time went on, many of those facts proved to be less than accurate.

You know how it is–it was believed that the Earth is the center of the universe. No, wait, the Sun is the center of the universe. Actually, neither is the center of the universe.

I would like to say it was time wasted, but in my case, that would not be true. There was no other activity vying for my time.

Later, I focused on literature. As the founder of cynicism, I couldn’t be caught dead (literally) reading poetry. In any case, I read Shakespeare. I read Tolstoy and Tolkien. I even read Dashiell Hammitt and Robert A. Heinlein. I enjoyed some more than others, of course, but it gave me a good foundation.

I recently tried to read the defense legal team’s response to the impeachment charges, “Trial Memorandum of Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States of America.” The title is B-O-R-I-N-G, which is a warning that the rest of the document is a real snoozer. I mean, it is a more effective sleep-aid than 2 Ambien chased by 3 fingers of scotch.

It’s only available in paperback and shoddily bound at that. The plot is implausible. The characters are not only unbelievable but also unlikable. And the writing? Truman Capote would say, “That’s not writing, it’s only typing.”

My recommendation–don’t buy it! As a matter of fact, if somebody tries to give you a copy, give it back.

You’ll do better to check online for e-books available from your local public library.

Bring Back the Whigs!!

Thomas Jefferson founded the Democratic-Republican Party, which opposed the views of the Federalist Party (John Adams party.) The Federalist party only lasted until after the election of 1800. Formal party names did not yet exist, but those who supported the Democratic-Republican Party often referred to themselves as “republicans.”

Naturally, there was infighting in the Democratic-Republican Party, which eventually split into the Democratic and National Republican parties. The proponents of the National Republican party eventually became the Whig* party, one of the two predominant parties from 1830 – 1850. The Whigs attracted entrepreneurs, professionals, planters, social reformers, devout Protestants, and the emerging urban middle class.

William Henry Harrison, a Whig, was elected president, but died one month after the inauguration and was succeeded by John Tyler (who was later kicked out of the Whig Party). Zachary Taylor was another successful Whig. He died two years after becoming president, ushering Millard Fillmore into the presidency. Therefore, the Whigs won two elections, but due to the death of the victors, they can claim four presidents. This, it can be argued, was very efficient.

Why should we bring the Whigs back?

The Whig priorities were primarily to oppose the ideas of Andrew Jackson, who, today, is no longer active in politics. Their other policies and beliefs stopped being relevant nearly two centuries ago. Besides, few politician keep their promises or support their party platform once elected.

We don’t want add the Whigs as an additional party. Ross Perot taught us that third parties don’t work. However, since the current Republican Party is in such disarray, perhaps it might help if they reverted to being Whigs.

Stranger things have happened.

* I was curious as to what the word “Whig” means. I found three explanations. Two are verbs, and since Whig is a noun (or an adjective modifying a noun), here is the definition of Whig as a noun: Acidulated whey, sometimes mixed with buttermilk and sweet herbs, used as a cooling beverage.

Don’t confuse this with a Rock and Roll band from Athens, GA, also known as the Whigs.

Donny’s Farewell

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“Okay, everybody, listen up. We’ve got a lot to do and it all has to be done before noon on January 20th, so pay attention. First things first. Everybody needs to pick up a trump election recount pledge card and fill in the amount you will be donating. You can make the actual donation anytime before the 20th since it needs to be in cash, non-sequential bills, in a plain brown wrapper.”

“Excuse me,” one of the participants interjected, “All of the counts are done, certified, and accepted, so why a recount fund?”

“Mitch, you of all people should know that it was never going to be used for a recount. This is for future operations.”

“But what about the Republican Party?”

“Mitch, if you want to have a party, have at it. Just make sure that you donate until it hurts.

“Now, without further distractions, let’s continue. There will be four lines. The first, to my left and to your right is for pardons. Each requested pardon needs to be accompanied by a separate pledge card. Pardons can be extended for actual crimes in which a person has been adjudged guilty, for actions that may or may not be a crime, and for general “Get out of Jail Free” pardons.

“The next line is for commutations. If a criminal act is pardoned, you will no be longer protected by the Fifth Amendment against self incrimination and the individual is viewed as actually being a criminal–a pardoned criminal, but a criminal nevertheless. On the other hand, a commutation retains your fifth amendment rights, although you won’t be able to vote or own a firearm. Choose wisely.

“The third line is for last minute federal appointments. If you’re appointed an ambassador for 15 minutes, you’re still a bonafide ambassador. Want to be a lobbyist for the communications industry? Get appointed to the Federal Communications Commission for the remainder of the President’s term. Same goes for environmental protection, justice department, Food and Drug administration–you name it.

“The last line is for those of you seeking a Presidential Medal of Freedom. Yes, that’s right, you too can be honored by this prestigious medal and join such notable winners as Rush Limbaugh, Andy Griffith, Arnold Palmer, and, of course, Bill Cosby.

“There are Concierge desks set up in each of the corners of the hall. Ivanka is manning one, Jared Kirchner, another, as well as Don, Jr. and Eric. If you have a special request, please complete your pledge card first, then meet with one of the concierges. If you are seeking more than one consideration, merely have a separate pledge card for each request. According to the president’s accountants, all these contributions are tax deductible!

“You’ll never have an opportunity quite like this, so act now.”

Russia Who?

Trump's Press Conference With Putin Will Go Down in ...
“I love you, man! “

At the end of his monumental (read “disastrous”) presidency, trump once again deflects criticism of Russia.

When first elected and it was obvious that there had been foreign influence, with all signs pointing to Russia, trump said, “Maybe it was China. Who knows?”

After that, he kowtowed to Putin (and every other despotic dictator) at every opportunity.

There has been a massive cyberattack against the American government and American industry that has been ongoing for months. Once again, the intelligence experts suspect Russia. Once again, trump disagrees and blames China.

I don’t know about you, but it would scare the hell out of me to have an ex-ruler with access to any and all of the nation’s secrets–including weapons, who also had multi-million dollar loans coming due, a cash flow problem, and no ethics.

“Vlad, here’s the deal. You finance a trump tower in Moscow, slip me a little gift under the table and I’ll tell you all about [fill in the TOP SECRET subject here].” Of course, that’s assuming that the stable genius hasn’t already spilled the beans so that Putin would say nice things about him.

Be afraid. Be very, very afraid.

I’m not worried–I died millenia ago. On the other hand, you should worry.

Scorched Earth

In 1939, during the Second World War, the German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact–also known as the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact–was signed. Stalin was wary. Hitler was lying. In 1941, Operation BARBAROSSA–the invasion of the Soviet Union by Germany began.

Hitler believed that Germany’s blitzkrieg tactic would make short work of the Soviets, and at first it looked like he was right,. However, the deeper the Germans moved into Soviet Territory, the slower the progress. Many people believe it was the Soviet winter that defeated the Germans as it had Napoleon’s Army. It worked against Germany, but there were other factors at play.

The Soviet’s needed time to build tanks and aircraft. If the German Army could be delayed, the Soviets could overwhelm them with numbers. To buy time, the Soviets destroyed their homes and fields as the German army approached. When the Germans advanced, they found that the food was gone, building materials were gone, anything useful was gone.

At Stalingrad, the Soviets employed all of their troops along with the equipment they had. As the Germans destroyed people and tanks, replacements quickly filled the void. The Germans were cut off. The Soviet tanks were inferior to Germany’s, but Soviet industry kept building them and the Soviet soldiers kept attacking. Eventually, the Germans ran out of ammunition, food, and fuel and this the winter made a huge difference. Many starved, others froze, and still the Soviets kept attacking.

What Germans survived surrendered at Stalingrad. Ninety-one thousand Germans were captured. Only 5,000 were returned. The scorched earth policy had bought the Soviet Union the time it needed to rearm and ultimately win.

I am watching your president. He is attempting to execute a scorched earth policy of his own. Unfortunately, there is no advantage to America or the American people. Instead, he is attempting to commit societal suicide–genocide on his own people.

I hope for your sake he fails at this as he has failed at so many other things.

It’s Over(ish)

Your latest election is over and you have a new president. Some of you thought Biden’s age would be a problem, but I firmly believe it’s an asset. I would, of course, having been born 2,400 years ago, and I think I turned out damn near perfect, although a little cynical!

There’s an old saying that generals fight the last war, rather than the next one. Here’s hoping that politicians do not suffer from the same fate. There is no coulda, woulda, shoulda, so move forward.

Sharpiegate

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I love watching 21st Century humans–they’re hilarious. Your television comedies can’t compete with the real world antics of your most influential people. Lately, I’ve been grateful that I no longer have a physical body, because if I did, I would have certainly pulled some muscle or another because of laughing so hard.

Your (current) president loves sharpies. He signs his jaggedy signature with them as a way of saying, “Look at ME!” Apparently he believes that he can control the weather with a sharpie. So far he’s the only one who believes he’s been successful at it.

On the other hand, your (current) president hates sharpies. Apparently there are legal maneuvers underway to protest ballots that were completed with a sharpie. The claim is that the marks made with a sharpie bleed through the ballot. The counter argument is that ballots are constructed so that if any bleed through occurs, it will be on a part of the ballot that is not scanned.

In fact, the poll workers say that sharpies actually do a better job of marking ballots than pens or pencils.

After claiming victory, word is that your (current) president is planning to use his sharpie to write “270” next to his name.