Thursday, September 17, 2015

GOP Debate review #2- The Cheesy, The Pandering and Lindsey Graham Oh My!

Let’s make one thing perfectly clear about the second GOP Debate at the Reagan Library; yes Lindsey Graham, if you became President there would be a lot of heavy drinking throughout the land. But from one possible presidential fiasco to the reality of the debate fiasco to which close to 23 million viewed there’s much to crow about.

CNN obviously bit off more than it could stomach with the second GOP debate. But this is what was to be expected as all candidates shock off the first debate jitters and shined up their soapboxes for the invited guests in Simi Valley, but the quarrelling was much better as donations are becoming scarcer and TV time is the greater need.

Sure the “Happy Hour” of Santorum, Pataki, Graham and Jindall proved why they were second stage material. But a smaller stage was too be their greatest advantage to be heard except only Graham showed to have grasp that notion. Yes he spoke over and fought with Santorum, but his comedy act helped him get the attention.

After Graham’s drinking comment the “Southern Bell” moved onto to immigration and questioned Tapper about the need for a Northern border fence/wall by stating “I’ve never seen an illegal Canadian” to some snickering in the audience. Here’s the problem with his answer, it shows the ignorance he and many have with the idea illegals only enter from the South and Latino to boot. The Northern border is filled with farmlands and the Great Lakes when compared the barren land of Southern states. And those that enter illegally from the north are Asian, Czech and Ukrainian.

Unfortunately, these four will not be moving up to the main stage any time soon.

The biggest debacle for CNN was having 11 bombastic ego driven individuals act with civility while vying for support. Too say I expected Tapper to act more referee then bullied child is an understatement.

This is no knock on Tapper, whom I consider a fair interviewer much like his FOX counterpart Chris Wallace; however last night he tried to step away from any “gotcha” questions and seemed like a scared 4th grader reading a book review. Note to all Media please do away with this stupid “invoking” rule. This was CNN’s biggest mistake and caused the candidates to sound more like Horshack from Welcome Back Kotter then professional beings.

Plus the annoyance of the split screen only gave more airtime to Trump as it left me remembering the Bush 43 “watch” and Gore eye rolling/sighing moments of Presidential debates of the past. Maybe instead of this rule, they could’ve just tagged out WWE Style.

Was it me or was it not surreal that Jeb(!) admitted to smoking marijuana at the Reagan “Just Say No” Library? It is refreshing to see a politician give a little truth in a generation of recreational drug use. Sure Clinton said he didn’t inhale, Bush 43 never answered the question, Obama stated he tried marijuana and cocaine only to be vilified by Conservative pundits like Hannity, so now I wonder will they mock Jeb(!)’s drug admission?

I can go on about each individual performance, as many agree Fiorina proved her worth to play among the boys and well, she ate their lunch as well. And while speaking of lunch, Christie finally showed his weight by what once made him the man to be at the end of the 2014 Election cycle. Yes these two came out on top along with the “awakened” Marco Rubio. All three seemed to stay on their well practiced point of conversation be it Fiorina’s resolute attitude, Christie’s attack them not each other and Rubio’s fired up attitude.

I’m left to wonder what has happened to the 3 Prim Donnas of Paul, Cruz and Walker. All three were put on “future president” pedestals when they began their current positions even though they had not performed yet. And now they lay in limbo, never gaining traction among the gatherings. Speaking more of Cruz, is there nothing about this man that is not rehearsed and why is everything so damn dreary or smelling of Armageddon? I can only imagine his children hiding under their beds when daddy says “ok kids want me to read you a bedtime story?'

OK go ahead point at Walker and Cruz placement in the polls but actually look at their polling numbers and it’s a sad affair. Maybe if Cruz and Paul actually stayed in Washington and did something instead dragging their soapboxes around the country, collecting speaking fees, they might have records (meaning legislation) to run on instead of words words and more words.

So in the aftermath of the debate, Media pundits have tallied their scorecards and the majority stated that Carly Fiorina has proved she is the one to truly beat. I too have my scorecard and unlike the paid pundits, I believe mine has more truth: Fiorina- A, Christie – B, Rubio- B, Carson- B, Kasich- C, Trump- C, Paul- C, Huckabee- C, Bush- C, Santorum- D, Graham- C, Jindall- D, Pataki- D, Walker- D, Cruz- D

Yet this should have been expected by the well paid pundits that the first debate is considered dress rehearsal, get people to know who they are and by the time the second debate rolls around, boom everyone is on cue

But somewhere in West Texas, Rick Perry is sitting under an antelope head at his N*ggerhead hunting lodge saying “that could ‘a been me. Stupid smart guy glasses stunt.”

That’s it, Slap the tap on some Alimony Ale and pay your political tab


Wednesday, September 16, 2015


What difference does it make whether a President or candidate speaks/answers a question in any language other than ‘Murican?

So what on Earth am I talking about? Well it seems Donald Trump and that linguist maven Sarah Palin got their political panties all bunched up because a few weeks ago Jeb(!) Bush was asked a question in Spanish and he replied in Spanish.

Their reaction has made the Media rounds due to two things that are in the news at this time; A. the battle that legal and illegal immigrants should speak “English” when here and B. that Jeb(!) Bush showed off his bilingual skills and Donald Trump didn’t like it. Apparently Palin was so upset about Jeb(!) showing off his communication skills that she had to bless us with an interview just to say “…when you're here, let's speak American.”

Now let that sink in for a minute……

I have to be fair because we live in the Media sound bite world and many will charge Palin with speaking before thinking. So as a few many only heard Palin’s sound bite, she did correct herself with “I mean that's what's — let's speak English and that's a kind of a unifying aspect of the nation is the language that is understood by all.”

Yes she is correct; we speak English in the United States even though we do not have an official language. And it’s that huge consortium of folks who believe there should be an official American language even though our Founding Fathers had never wanted such and many of them were bilingual as well.

Kind of funny considering that most citizens cannot even speak coherent English, they speak fluent ‘Murican.

So why had our Founding Fathers not believed in an official language for their newly founded country? Simply because they had taken for granted that citizens already spoke English so there was no need for an official language plus believing that anyone who immigrated would simply pick up the language in adapting to their new home.

History also tells us that our Founding Fathers and citizens also consumed a lot of alcohol on a daily basis.

But there’s nothing wrong with being bilingual as many of our past presidents spoke many languages. Jefferson and JQ Adams were fluent in Latin, French and Italian while Hoover enjoyed speaking Chinese when strolling through the halls of the White House. Ben Franklin is reported to have routinely complained about German immigrants being too dumb to learn English and worried about how they will soon outnumber Americans. Sound familiar in today’s American society and the complaints of the Latino populace?

So yes, the push for all immigrants (legal and illegal) to learn English has been around since we revolted the English crown, but it seems the complaint is growing larger as more and more from around the world want to live the American dream.

Many are learning the English language, but their main problem is they cannot shake their “accent.” Again to be fair, have you ever tried to have a conversation with someone with a deep Boston or New York accent? If there is anyone who needs a class in phonetics it’s these folks. Heavy accents run throughout the Northeast and Southern United States. I talk to many people throughout the East Coast on a daily basis and their regional accents leave me scratching my head sometimes

Yes I’m from Pittsburgh, what you might call a Pittsburgher I prefer the term “Yinzer,” a city that recently was voted the country’s ugliest accent. No recount needed as the majority of “Yinzers” are proud to accept the honor, except me, I’ve fought my entire life for clarity.

So we should be sympathetic to those immigrating here and trying to learn a new language, Lord knows I butchered many foreign languages in school to squeak by with a “C.”
But we, as a consumer, have been forced to deal with foreign accents for the longest time.

For instance, the majority of the time when calling customer service one will moan aloud “please let this person speak English, please…..” and when the person answers with a foreign accent you let out a big sigh and say “why am I talking to someone in a foreign land?” Blame the business.

American companies from industries of Credit to Electronics have moved their Customer and Technical service departments half way around the world for two reasons; cheap labor and time convenience.

It’s cheaper to contract a company in another country and normally as the consumer we make most of customer/technical service calls in the evening time. We’re ending our day and they are just beginning. These foreign companies have caught on and have told their employees to “Americanize” themselves by using American names like “Timmy” or “Susie” so we feel sympathetic into thinking this person just immigrated here and trying to fit in.

Why do you think he goes by “Bobby” Jindall and not by his real name of “Piyush?” Because when his parents moved to the US, they didn’t want him to be ostracized by other kids.

Yet I must turn to the Urban Dictionary to help those newly minted legal and illegal immigrants to fully comprehend what it means to live in 'Murica and speak its language. So pay attention as this may appear on your VISA application. Per the Urban Dictionary the term "murica" is the way how many people with extremely thick, American accents, pronounce "America". The term is used to denote extreme, extreme nationalism and patriotism, but not necessarily facism. It is generally seen as a derogatory yet humorous way to describe most Americans: fat, lazy, gunwielding, war loving, horse riding, saloon fighting, beer drinking, sex wanting or etc.

So grab a beer, gun, Big Mac and wave 'Ol Glory while screaming war songs against your homeland and you to may fit the 'Murican stereotype.

Again, there are way too many here in the good old ‘Murica that can take the simplest of issue and turn it into something that makes thinking before speaking overrated. But hey, that’s why I have a political blog to either fan the flames or piss on the campfire.

That’s it, Slap the tap “‘Junna goink dahn the sahside to Chupka’s for a bawdle of arn and wach the Stillers n’at” and pay your political tab. (Translation: You guys going down to the South Side to Chupka’s for a bottle of Iron City Beer and watch the Steelers game)

Pip Pip Cheerio

Thursday, September 3, 2015

The Democratic Debates have been scheduled but will anyone listen

So the DNC has finally decided to get into the “game” and released their 2016 Democratic Primary Debate TV schedule for all to view. But will anyone actually watch?

I ain’t lying when I say many were waiting with baited breathe to watch the first GOP PD, more for the fact to see how Donald Trump would stack up against the establishment politicians, minus the likes of Dr Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina. Oh how the FOX News group gleefully circle jerked when the ratings came out, but don’t expect CNN to do the same with the first Democratic PD on Oct 13. I expect a limp response in the viewership only because the most hardened politico will be watching to either cheer/boo Hillary from the comforts of their living room while others will be watching the latest Dancing with the Stars.

It wasn’t long ago that many were wondering if the GOP had become extinct with their lack of candidates, sorry, lack of “brand” candidates. But they were smart by opening the door for a younger generation to take a seat. Well that and the creation of the Tea Party helped as well. Yet, it seems the political winds have turned and now it’s time to question the life of the Dems.

Look at this “gawd awful” Democratic list of candidates; Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Jim Webb, Martin O’Malley, and Lincoln Chafee. At least the voter will hear more than “Benghazi” or “Email gate” in the media.

Yes the Democratic roster deserves the moniker of “Boring Five” as there will be little on stage fireworks and one might expect CNN Sanjay Gupta to be backstage to check the contenders for heartbeats.

Ok maybe that’s harsh, there is life in these candidates but media is too focused on interparty squabbling and throat punches among the candidates, as we’ve seen in GOP debates of the past. The proof is there as media keeps poking Bernie Sanders to go negative on Hillary Clinton to equal that of some of their GOP counterparts. It all equals ratings.
I’ve mocked the GOP for having too many contenders and too many debates in 2012, but applauded them for at least slicing the debate schedule down even though the political short bus is filled to capacity. But as I mock/applaud them, I need to mock the DNC for scheduling only six sponsored debates for their lackluster candidates and the blame lies fully on DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Shultz.

Wasserman Shultz should be removed from her chair as her record, well to simply say, it sucks. She’s fully responsible for the Democratic body chalk outline on the Capitol Building floor over the past few years. As well she is the reason for the debate schedule being sliced by 75% from the 2008 schedule. Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders have every right to be upset as it gives them less viewership to debate their policy beliefs against that of Clinton, Webb and Chafee.

Before we go any further, is it necessary to even put this show on the road? Just about everyone already knows Hillary will be given the soapbox for 2016 and the DNC only has them self to blame. Just look at the latest news about the DNC and Hillary Clinton banning together on a fundraising deal for example.

Yep, all indication shows that the DNC has flat lined and someone needs shock them back to life.

In all honestly, just like their GOP counterparts, there’s about 1 degree of variance between the five Democratic names, however no one would know because media is filled with sound bites of Clinton and Sanders playing nice with each other.

Let’s look at three issues that will dominate the DNC PD in October; taxes, immigration and same sex marriage.

Honestly someone needs to get the candidates a thesaurus to find a better term for “pathway” since it’s become a dirty word that equals amnesty, which all the candidates are for. But only two actually have a body of work to back up their belief.

As governors of their respected states, both O’Malley and Chafee extended “in state” tuitions to illegal immigrants to their universities.

Webb, while supporting some version of the failed “Dream” Act and along with O’Malley believes in Immigration reform to help business.

Same Sex Marriage
There seems to have been some sort of “evolution” of thought when it comes to Same Sex Marriage for a couple of the Democratic contenders. But as of today all are for it.

It seems both Webb and Clinton have suffered a reverse version of “John Kerry Syndrome” as they were once against it and now for it. According to AlterNet, Sanders has been supporting Same Sex Marriage for over 40 years while both O’Malley and Chafee put their states ahead of the game by passing same sex marriage legislation.

As O’Malley stated when he signed legislation in 2012 "The way forward is always found through greater respect for the equal rights of all. If there is a thread that unites all of our work here together, it is the thread of human dignity”

This is where the “Boring Five” vary or one would think so.

It seems O’Malley is the most progressive of the bunch because as governor he raised just about every tax he could from gas to alcohol to the wealthy, while the rest of the crowd agrees on lowering the corporate tax rate while taxing the wealthy.

Clinton has proposed closing the corporate loopholes to help cut middle class taxes with an added bonus of keeping capital gains below 20%, with Webb and Chafee adding talk about reforming tax codes to a simpler version

Meanwhile Sanders appears to be the most extreme in his plan. Of course he wants to cut taxes on the middle class but desiring higher taxes on the wealthy by doubling the tax on capital gains and dividends. Not to mention he is in step with Rand Paul to the beat of “Auditing the Fed.”

Of course I’ve only given a small snippet and the “Boring Five” will have more issues to answer come October. But does it even matter knowing full well that the DNC has already hand delivered the victory to Clinton regardless of polling, something they and Media have wanted since 2008?

It’s rather sad for O’Malley who was once considered the Democratic golden boy and anointed by Pres Bill Clinton as a future president or that Lincoln Chafee couldn’t even get a bump in polling by appearing on the Conan O’Brien show.

It truly does show why many Democrats are begging for “Crazy Uncle” Joe Biden to jump in and want to be “Ridin’ with Biden” in 2016. I can already hear the “pull my finger” jokes by late night’s Kimmel, Fallon and Colbert

That’s it, slap the tap on some Bristol’s Ale and pay your political tab before we get hit with a national consumption tax