Wednesday, June 17, 2015

For Today’s Political Media It’s “Rabbit Season……”

I’m not sure but too me watching all Media trying to cover the current roster of Presidential candidates is like watching the opening of the Banana Splits Show from my childhood. Complete mayhem, dysfunction and mockery that have the kids either laughing or scratching their heads.

OK now that I just post-dated myself, the nature of Media stumbling, bumbling, hobbling around trying to find the best “story” to fill space during the next long grueling 19 months is going to be painful for the audience to bear and want to comprehend. Well for those following the partisan path of “they drool, we rule follow us to the cliff” of modern day politics life will be normal.

And for those keeping count at home, the current candidate tally is Republicans 12 Democrats 4 of announced candidates with 4 Republicans still waiting to mark their territory. But of course those in waiting are still trying to do their current day job as Governor.

Yet these past few weeks of “filler” reporting has become very nauseating to a few, comical to some and downright pure political disgust by the rest that care. “Filler” reporting, well more like “spackling,” does help rile up the Party supporters for their tomato throwing on Social Media.

All the talk about Hillary Clinton’s speaking fees has created pitchfork style moment for those on the Right and rightly so. Of course, I am no fan of Hillary but to me, if someone’s gonna pay me $200k to blabber in front of a group of people, you’re damn right I’m gonna cash that check regardless of my name and resume.

So who’s to blame for these outrageous speaking fees? Well according to Forbes Magazine, a New York Times bestselling author can command a minimum $40k per speech and if you’re a politician, well the speaking fees can reach 6 digits which easily can explain President George W Bush requests for $110k to President Bill Clinton’s $200k-$500k per speech. Of course all that cash isn’t just to talk as the fee covers hotel, travel, food, and entertainment costs.

Heck, President Reagan once earned $2 million in 1989 for eight days in Japan.

So no, I don’t blame Hillary for being wrong in accepting checks for speaking engagements, just as I don’t find wrongdoing knowing that Jeb Bush earns $50k and Donald Trump has demanded up to $1.5 million per speech. Nor is it wrong that Dr Ben Carson actually earned around $4 million more in speaking fees in the past 16 months then Hillary did.

Are there any complaints from the Liberal peanut gallery?

Speaking fees are the least of the partisan Media’s issue, as they like to make more of an issue over something by the opposition that there really is nothing to bitch about while overlooking their own for the same nonsense.

A silly story by The New York Times about parking/speeding tickets of Sen. Marco Rubio and his wife is a pathetic reach that falls in line with Mitt Romney’s dog traveling on the family truckster roof or President Obama eating dog meat as a child in Indonesia. It’s irrelevant to anything of need but needed by all Media to fill space for talking heads to complain and grovel about.

It’s also not unusual to be looking into the personal finances of a candidate, as all Media loves to do as it’s to show “responsibility” and “error” of the candidate’s character. Yet the cry of Sen. Rubio just paying off his student loans by any means is no different than the Obama’s mentioning that they had paid off his student loans at the same age as Sen. Rubio. That’s what happens when you decide to pick a degree that keeps you in school and internships for a good part of your early career.

Now if the partisan Media or normal Media wants to have fun with scandal why not look at Sen. Ted Cruz requesting money from donors in an email that sounded more like whining then his usual vigor.

Yes Sen. Cruz took to the internet the following week to ask (or beg depending on how you read it) for donations because campaigning has been hard on his family and he’s tired of the “pizza diet.” Hey Teddy, you’ve been campaigning ever since 2011; maybe if you stayed in DC and did your job, you wouldn’t have to be away from the family so much.

Or how lately, Sen. Rand Paul has been using his grandstanding on every issue since his announcement as a pitch to remind people to send him money. It must be hard to stay on top of his current soapbox off so many issues, because I surely do not remember him chest thumping about having the CIA release some 28 pages of a 9/11 report prior to April’s announcement.

See that’s all too easy to mock and why would Media want to do any footwork on the correlation between a Presidential campaign announcement and a book release/book tour. Which leads me to wonder if it’s a pre-requisite for a potential candidate to have a book deal/book release prior to announcing their future presidential intentions?

According to columnist Claude Brodesser-Akner over the past 60 years, every winning presidential candidate first published a book before/after announcing.

It makes sense that if one is being patted on the butt by Partisan Media as “you can be the guy/gal to win it” one would need something out there to mug the camera about, especially in the four States of Iowa, Nevada, South Carolina and New Hampshire. Coincidence or not that these four States are the only ones to hold primaries/caucuses before March 2016?

Former Gov/Fox TV Host Mike Huckabee released his latest book God, Guns, Grits and Gravy in January 2015 and immediately went on a 43 city/14 state/3 week book tour that just happened to spend the first 3 days in Iowa with Rep. Steven King.

Not to be outdone, Sen. Marco Rubio’s American Dreams: Restoring Economic Opportunity for Everyone also released in January 2015 with a book tour that took him right into those major primary States of Iowa, South Carolina, Nevada and New Hampshire immediately.

How about Sen. Rand Paul, a person who seems to have a new book released every year since taking office in 2011? His latest Taking a Stand: Moving Beyond Partisan Politics to Unite America was released in May 2015, just a few weeks after he announced his presidential plans.

Not to be outdone, let’s not forget about Hillary’s Hard Choices release way back in April 2014, because she’s been silently running for President since she left the State Dept back in 2012.

For all you E-book lovers, Jeb Bush released a partial read earlier in 2015 and the “Southern Gentleman” Lindsey Graham released a free book just this past weekend.

It’s rumored that Ted Cruz’s long awaited book is to hit the shelves in late June 2015, while Gov Piyush Jindal’s thoughts are scheduled to be for sale this October 2015. All the while Martin O’Malley has been shopping a finished manuscript of his Maryland governorship with no one making an offer.

Both Rick Santorum and Carly Fiorina have released books in 2015 that were more personal than political in nature, but none the less, it’s a grab to bring a more humanistic persona to electorate then the norm of economics, foreign affairs and lack of morality in society.

Both announced their campaign agendas a few months after being published.

The only hopefuls not having anything recently published or at all are Lincoln Chaffee, Chris Christie, Bernie Sanders, Rick Perry and Scott Walker.

As you can easily tell the stupidity of it all, but hey I’m beating Media to the punch, because as long as the 2016 Presidential campaign has been viewed thus far the next rabbit hole for Media to step into will be critiquing the candidate spouses. At least Sen. Lindsay Graham will be in the clear on that topic.

That’s it, slap the political tap for a frosty “Sweet Baby Jesus” beer and pass the gluten free Eucharist chip bowl because this blog jumped the political shark around paragraph 12.


Monday, June 1, 2015

It’s Presidential Primary Debate Season; Considered Yourself Warned

Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends come inside come inside.

Yes it’s that time again when all the hopeful/wanna be/ has been Presidential candidates attempt to sell their souls for your heart, mind and checkbook to stay afloat among an overcrowded cast of characters to be your next President of the United States.

That’s right one and all, beginning this August some of your favorite Cable News talking heads will be pre-empted for one night a month for the next eight months so pundits can get paid to analyze everything from the tie of a candidate to on stage water consumption and possibly even what the candidates actually said.

To be fair, only the Republican National Committee has actually scheduled their televised primary debates as the Democratic National Committee will not hold a single televised debate till... um... till.. Uh, well there are no dates listed yet just a notation of “*tentative date, not confirmed” per the website.

The DNC’s so-called scheduling issue is simple to explain; it gives them plenty of time to borrow the Carnival House of Mirrors prop so all can watch Hillary Clinton debate her past, current, and future self to millions across the country.

OK, that’s not fair to the DNC, but then again it’s all cheers for the RNC as they realized (thanks to a 2013 Autopsy) that 2012’s 27 scheduled televised primary debates was just overkill to the voting public. Not to mention the murder of the networks ratings and advertising budgets.

Anyway, a few weeks ago I pondered aloud about how would the RNC fix their “candidates” issue for the upcoming primary debate cycle?

By “candidates” issue I mean the claustrophobic field of individuals who will inform the viewers they’re the right one to represent the GOP, why the others suck, and then by the end of the cycle backtrack to endorse the victor as the true candidate of choice even though they had stated prior that the individual sucked.

Personally, I don’t see a problem with having too many candidates, truly I never did. My complaint has always been about the quality of the candidates. Seriously, I know I’m being a political d*ck about this, but two-thirds of those running for President in 2016 know full well their chances are slim and are looking at their future to bank more contractual money either in television and/or print or a power trip when they return to their day jobs. The other one-third actually have legitimate claim to move about the country to spew their will amongst the people.

As of today, there’s a possible GOP candidate count of 20 individuals lining up, trying to be heard amongst the many, hoping to get equal amounts of face time in the Media. And the primary debates are the best place to meet the candidate, right?

Wrong! Well for 2012 it was wrong but for the moment in 2016 the problem is fixed.
RNC head honcho Reince Pribus had mentioned over the past year or so about a “political bracket” style debate calendar, having different candidates at different debates to give everyone a chance to be heard. As time passed he did the next best thing imaginable. To take the pressure of candidates and their Big Money backers banging on his door, he decided to let the networks decide who gets to play and who gets to stay (out).

Respectfully both FOX and CNN were granted the first two televised debates, with each running a different type of debate docket fully supported by the RNC. Hey, it says so on their website!

FOX has chosen to only invite the Top 10 polling candidates to their August 6 televised debate, while CNN decided to allow all to speak during a two event broken down by polling numbers.

I love this idea! Yes that’s right I said I love this idea for many reasons, however I believe CNN did the best for the candidates. I can also understand FOX’s one night event, as primaries do not do well in ratings, so with the abbreviated commercial breaks for a night, bills don’t get paid. And of course, they don’t want to upset the ratings of their coveted much bragged about 800p-1000p slot.

I gotta wonder which poll/polls will be used, because if they use the latest Quinnipiac Poll there is not a true front runner among a group of candidates.

Well to be fair, according to the Q Poll “Don’t Know/Undecided” actually leads with 20%, with Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee, Marco Rubio, and Scott Walker are all tied at 10%. Funny little side note about “Don’t Know/Undecided” as it was in 1976 Iowa Straw Poll that helped propel Jimmy Carter as the Democratic candidate, because he was polled at #2 and his campaign capitalized on it by saying he was the true winner.

But that was Iowa and I’m talking the current Q poll which has Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, Chris Christie, and Carly Fiorina completing out what would be considered the “Top 10” candidates that would fill out the FOX debate if it were held today.
Sadly, it leaves John Kasich, Rick Santorum, George Pataki, Piyush “Bobby” Jindal, Rick Perry and Lindsey Graham staying home.

But look hard at the list of GOP candidates. Cruz, Paul, Rubio, Carson, Fiorina, Huckabee, Santorum, Graham and Pataki have all announced their intentions with Bush, Walker, Christie, Perry, Jindal, Kasich and Trump waiting it out.

In my opinion, only those that have announced deserve to be on stage for the FOX one night stand, if one is to be “Fair and Balanced,” or CNN’s first night event. Those fence sitters need not apply or wait till the next day.

Yes I know August is still a few months away so the favorability of a candidate can go up and down. And I just realized I broke my cardinal rule of never writing more than the average person can read during the average bowel movement, so thus we end my excitement of Political Plinko.

Then again, it would better for the viewer if these debates were played out on the set of The Price Is Right when considering the amount of money being hedged by bid money donors.

That’s it, slap the political tap on the Bishops Finger and pay your political tab before a candidate knocks on your door