Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Who's Your White Daddy?

UPDATE:  Michael Reese Coffman, 57, was no sweet, young, innocent choir boy.

From Escambia County, LA (OK, legally it's FL, but practically it's Lower Alabama, believe me, I know).

2001 CF 004158 A

2001 CF 004159 A

2004 MM 020380 A

2004 CF 001442 A

If the links don't work, check the clerk's website here, and if you find no records, somebody important, with something to hide, read this post before you.

I'll check Santa Rosa County, LA (you know what I mean) later. 

"Michael Reese Coffman, 57, of Milton was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2005 after being convicted of conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing methamphetamine."

Obama recently granted him 'early release.'

Read the Pensacola News Journal, Obama grants 2 local men early release.

Guess who Coffman's daddy is/was?

Hint: see Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office, SRSO History.

Some in the local community think the early release was granted for a reason other than merit.

What do you think?

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Which One Was White?

One young man in South Florida 'violated a municipal code for drinking beer in a park after hours, was never taken into custody, never hired a lawyer and never appeared in court.'

One young man in NW Florida, rode a bicycle through an empty construction site.  Pensacola Police Officer Jerald Ard saw the young man and pursued the bike rider in his police cruiser, attempted to fire a Taser weapon from the window of the moving cruiser, and drove the cruiser on the side walk, and against traffic, trying to knock rider off the bicycle.  Eventually, the bike rider was crushed to death under the police cruiser.

Read the Washington Post, Rubio’s summer of ’90: An arrest, then newfound purpose.

Then read No Justice For Victor Steen.

Guess which one was white.

No Bon Appétit -- What Happens When a Busness Man Run Government

The " Flint disaster, three years in the making, is not a failure of government generally. It’s the failure of a specific governing philosophy: Snyder’s belief that government works better if run more like a business."

Read the Washington Post, The Flint disaster is Rick Snyder’s fault.

And have a taste:

From, Poisoned Democracy: How an Unelected Official Contaminated Flint's Water to Save Money

Monday, January 25, 2016

Why is the Republi-CON Party Trying to Hide the Real Dr. Donald-Mr. Trump (AKA Franken-Trump/Trumpenstein (©

UPDATE:  "It's like something out of a Marvel movie. Rich Lowry, the editor of the conservative National Review, assembles a squadron of writers from all over the world of conservatism -- religious figures, radio personalities, President Reagan's former aides. True, they might have had their differences in the past, but this time, they have all come together in one final effort to stop a powerful villain from destroying liberty and freedom before the Iowa caucuses in just over a week.

That villain, of course, is Donald Trump, the favorite to win the GOP presidential primary.

A good comic-book villain has a weakness. For Trump, many people think it's that he is far too extreme to run as the nominee of a major political party -- his opponents have called him a fascist, for example. And many think he is certainly too extreme to win a general election. They compare him to a stalwart conservative such as Barry Goldwater, the Republican nominee whom President Johnson trounced in 1964.

Our heroes in the National Review don't attack Trump by trying to exploit his extremism. On the contrary, in their view, Trump's flaw is that he doesn't go far enough. The refrain of the special issue that Lowry published this week is that Trump is not ideological, that he is willing to compromise, that he is not a true conservative.

'Is Trump a liberal? Who knows?' asks Mona Charen, one of Lowry's contributors.

In other words, this special issue emphasizes an important but underappreciated fact about Trump. He might be brash. He might be eccentric. Substantively, though, he is a moderate by the standards of the Republican Party."

Read the Washington Post,  Top Republicans say Donald Trump’s real problem is that he’s too moderate.

National Review, "America's most widely read and influential magazine and web site for conservative news, commentary, and opinion", writes:

“Trump is a philosophically unmoored political opportunist who would trash the broad conservative ideological consensus within the GOP in favor of a free-floating populism with strong-man overtones . . .

Trump is an egotist; Trump is not a real conservative; Trump doesn’t know much about terrorism; Trump is a populist, not a conservative . . 'Trump might be the greatest charlatan of them all.'"

So the Republi-con party decided to engage in a little "thought control", it disqualified the magazine as an upcoming debate moderator.

Read the Washington Post, The RNC has lost its mind on GOP debates.  

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Look What 'Hysterics Have Wrought': The Half-Term Gov Endorses the Franken-Trump/Trumpenstein (©

UPDATE V:  "At first it seemed too weirdly awful to be true, but there she was: Sarah Palin standing next to Donald Trump on Tuesday and endorsing him for president.

Like previously conjoined twins who had shared a brain before Ben Carson separated them, these two anti-everything, post-lamestream media instigators presented themselves as political doppelgangers, a he/she, yin-yang, sis-boom-bah political marriage of the carnival barker and the bearded lady.

Step right up! Get your tickets! Bring the whole family! Bring your anger, bring your spleen, don’t let logic intervene!

The challenge for those of us in the observation business is to illuminate what’s plainly obvious without offending those who prefer not to see. But there’s no winning once passions are engaged, and hating the messenger is a time-honored tradition. Even though it was, in fact, obvious in 2008 that Palin was out of her league, as I pointed out in a column, her fans wouldn’t hear of it. About 20,000 of them took time out of their busy schedules to send me emails expressing their displeasure. (I’ve kept them all for nursing-home share time.) The whole episode was instructive in multiple ways, but most important, it foretold a dumbing down of the GOP that eight years later may prove irreversible.

Into a blizzard of irony gallops National Review with a “symposium” of opinions from noted conservative writers saying what must be said: Trump is terrible for conservatism (because he isn’t a conservative) and that populist demagoguery and vulgarity have no place in the party. You don’t say!

The irony, which is so delicious I may skip the chocolate sauce and forgo the cherry, is that this same publication dropped my syndicated column not long after it ran my Palin column. Hoopla and all that. And now suddenly, the editors, one of whom all but telepathically dated Palin, are blind to the former governor’s charms, opposing her choice for president in the strongest terms.

One wonders only what took them so long to say what has been plainly obvious for months.

It must be difficult for some of these writers to go out on a limb like this and recognize in Trump what they were unable to see in Palin in 2008. Trump, to his credit, has managed to clarify matters for them.

Although Palin is a latecomer to this particular circus and thus not a likely factor in the magazine’s symposium edition, she does add fresh flair to Trump’s “I’m so great” monologues."

I could quote more, but read the Washington Post, With Trump and Palin, Republicans get what they deserve.

UPDATE IV:  "The arrival of Sarah Palin brings a special something to the 2016 campaign, like a little LSD added to the punch bowl. Are we watching C-SPAN, or a reality TV show, or a “Saturday Night Live” skit? It is impossible to tell without consulting the channel guide.

Ted Cruz may have secured the coveted 'Duck Dynasty' blessing. But Palin is the original and best representative of Kardashian conservatism. Her endorsement of Donald Trump was entirely devoid of policy content — a speech that did not even aspire to shallowness. It is enough that Trump is 'going rogue' and 'ticking people off' and 'media heads are spinning.'

Palin has been entirely consumed and replaced by her own bitterness against a Republican establishment she feels betrayed her and against a media that mocked her. More than anything else, she clings to resentment and rage. And her revolution, over time, has become comprehensive; not just a revolt against elites, but a revolt against syntax and taste and preparation and reason.

The phenomenon of Palin raises the question: Does populism need to be anti-intellectual? . .

In this vacuity, Palin and Trump are a perfect match. They both embrace a politics of personality, a politics at war with reason. Who would go to either for advice on Medicare reform or Syria policy? In the two-dimensional politics of Palin and Trump, depth is not even a category. There is only establishment vs. anti-establishment, weakness vs. strength.

The danger of an anti-intellectual politics is that it quickly becomes unmoored from real problems and real answers. In U.S. history, anti-intellectual populism has often become conspiratorial, focusing anger against powerful and imaginary enemies: the Masons, the international bankers, the Jesuits, the munitions-makers. “How can we account for our present situation,” asked Sen. Joe McCarthy (R-Wis.) in 1951, “unless we believe that men high in this government are concerting to deliver us to disaster? This must be the product of a great conspiracy, a conspiracy on a scale so immense as to dwarf any previous such venture in the history of man.”

Trump rose to political prominence through the power of birtherism — a movement in which every disproof was regarded as evidence of an even broader conspiracy. But Trump also made a mark connecting vaccinations to autism. The idea is 'completely discredited' by scientific studies (according to Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases) and dangerous to children. But Trump refuses to back down, asserting “the doctors lied” and the studies have been 'fudged up.'

The same is true on other issues. . .

Trump is not proposing obnoxious solutions to real challenges; he is promoting obnoxious solutions to fake or wildly exaggerated challenges. His anti-intellectualism is severing the ties between the GOP and reality. If Republicans choose to inhabit the Trump-Palin world, they will offer little of value to our own."

Read the Washington Post, Trump and Palin join forces in the war against reason

UPDATE III:  "I love poetic justice. This wild and wacky Republican presidential campaign deserved Sarah Palin, and now it’s got her.

Palin’s endorsement of front-runner Donald Trump at an Iowa rally this week was a master class in surrealist poetry. Geniuses of the Dada movement would have been humbled by her deconstruction of the language and her obliteration of the bourgeois concept we call logic.

The GOP candidates have been competing to see who can spew the most nonsense, but they’ll never top Palin. Not when she offers gems such as this: 'Believe me on this. And the proof of this? Look what’s happening today. Our own GOP machine, the establishment, they who would assemble the political landscape, they’re attacking their own front-runner. .?.?. They are so busted, the way that this thing works.'

Or this further excoriation of the party leadership:  [see the article for the nonsensical quote] . .

Or this elaboration of the same theme: [ditto] . .

Actually, I think the wailing from Republican grandees is more of a wordless primal scream. Palin claimed that 'media heads are spinning' at her decision to campaign for Trump, but it would be more accurate to say that 'media feet are dancing' at having such a rich source of new material.

I could quote Palin all day, but there are two substantive points about her dazzling intervention that I feel duty-bound to make. The first is political: Someday we might look back and say she was the one who pushed Trump over the top to win the nomination.

That’s not a promise, just a possibility. But Trump’s campaign draws strength from its own momentum. If he can somehow manage to sweep the early primary states, “outsider” support may coalesce behind him — and the establishment candidates may be too shellshocked to effectively respond. . .

The other substantive point I have to make about Palin has to do with a campaign speech she gave in Oklahoma for Trump the day after her endorsement. She was talking about the arrest of her son, Track, on domestic abuse charges after he allegedly fought with his girlfriend and threatened suicide by holding an assault rifle to his head.

'My son, a combat veteran .?.?. was fighting for you all, America, in the war zone,' Palin said. 'My son, like so many others, came back a bit different, they come back hardened.'

Palin said not enough was done to treat the 'woundedness' of returning veterans and charged that this failing 'comes from our own President [Obama].'

Never mind that Track Palin served in Iraq and came home while George W. Bush was president. His mother was speaking for the large segment of the GOP base that brays against high taxes and big government, yet demands more services and opposes cuts in entitlements — which doesn’t add up.

I’ve said it before: With years of foolish rhetoric, the Republican establishment got itself into this mess. There may be no way out."

Read the Washington Post, Sarah Palin takes the GOP campaign to a new low.

UPDATE II:  H/T to the Washington Post, Stephen Colbert delivers his own speech in Palin-ese. And it’s spot-on:

Colbert once again proves he's the king of satire.

And thank our lucky stars -- The Half-Term Gov and the Franken-Trump/Trumpenstein (© together in 2016, could it get any better?

UPDATE:  A must read, the Washington Post, The monumental fall of the Republican Party, which state in part:

Today’s Republican crisis was . . . engineered by the party leadership’s step-by-step capitulation to a politics of unreason, a policy of silence toward the most extreme and wild charges against Obama, and a lifting up of resentment and anger over policy and ideas as the party’s lodestars.

Many Republicans are now alarmed that their choice may come down to Trump, the candidate of a reality-show populism that tries to look like the real thing, and Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.), an ideologue whom they fear would lead their cause to a devastating defeat. There is an honorable pushback against this outcome from champions of a genuinely more moderate and tolerant brand of conservatism — the columnists Michael Gerson and David Brooks among them.

But this is a battle that needed to be joined long ago (which, I should say, is a central theme of my new book, 'Why the Right Went Wrong'). A showdown was required before the steady, large-scale defection of moderate voters from the party. Now that opponents of Trump and Cruz need the moderates, they are no longer there — except, perhaps, in states where independents might cross into the party’s primaries to save it from itself.

And instead of battling the impulses now engulfing the party, GOP honchos exploited them. They fanned nativist feeling by claiming that illegal immigrants were flooding across our borders, even when net immigration from Mexico had fallen below zero.

They promised radical reductions in the size of government, knowing no Republican president, including Ronald Reagan, could pull this off. They pledged to “take the country back,” leaving vague the identity of the people (other than Obama) from whom it was to be reclaimed. Their audiences filled in the blank. They denounced Obamacare as socialist, something, as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is pointing out, it decidedly is not. Indeed, it’s rooted in proposals Republicans once made themselves.

Politicians whose rhetoric brought the right’s loyalists to a boiling point now complain that they don’t much like the result. But it’s a little late for that. Why shouldn’t the party’s ultra-conservatives and its economically distressed working-class supporters feel betrayed? At least with Trump, Cruz and Palin, they have reason to think they know what they’re getting. 'We are mad, and we’ve been had,' Palin declared on Tuesday. 'They need to get used to it.'"

"Sarah Palin, in a zany, rambling endorsement announcement filled with garbled syntax and malapropisms, endorsed presidential front-runner Donald Trump on Tuesday in Iowa. . .

In some ways the Donald Trump-Sarah Palin team is the perfect comeuppance to the far-right — including the loudest talk show hosts, the anti-immigrant propagandists, the inside-the-Beltway groups that make money from political chaos and the pols who take advantage of all of those voices, politicians like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.). The far-right did all in their power to undermine compromise, to promote know-nothingism on immigration and to root for government failure (as in the 2013 shutdown). Beltway groups, armed with score cards and vitriol, demeaned anyone but those like the Freedom Caucus, those who had no responsibility for governance and no risk of electoral defeat. . .

Palin, long after she revealed herself to be an unserious populist and the 2008 election was in the rear-view mirror, was still heralded by the far-right as the warrior against the MSM and liberal elites more generally. She was the queen bee at gatherings like CPAC. Her admirers insisted she, not Republican lawmakers trying to govern, had the pulse of the public.. .

It seems the far-right noise machine, which lacks a conservative temperament and adherence to thoughtful positions, has met its enemies — its own creations in the persons of Trump and Palin and in voters and listeners so unmoored to reality and inured to reason that Cruz’s attempt to dissect Trump’s proposals falls on deaf ears. So which is it — is Palin a know-nothing nut with no grasp of conservative principles or the Joan of Arc of the right wing? How can Cruz be preferable to Trump if so many of these voices had argued for months that Trump was right on China, the Iraq War and so much more? Oh my, what talk radio hysterics have wrought!

Read the Washington Post, Trump and Palin: Just deserts for the right-wing racket.

Read also the Washington Post, In Oklahoma, the Trump and Palin tornadoes collide.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

What Do Hitler and Big Daddy Donald Have In Common?

UPDATE:  Read also the Washington Post, The gospel according to Donald Trump, and hear Trump discuss "Two Corinthians" and other gospel favorites "according to Trump."
"So you say you want a daddy for your president?

Okay, so maybe you didn’t say it, but on a subliminal level, you may have felt it, especially if you’re a Republican primary voter leaning toward Donald Trump.

Such is the finding of a recent national poll unveiled in the current issue of Politico Magazine. The survey’s author, political consultant Matthew MacWilliams, found that Trump supporters tend to be primarily 'authoritarians.'

This shouldn’t come as a surprise, since 'authority' sums up the content of both Trump’s persona and his campaign. How many times have you heard him say, 'Believe me,' usually following some sweeping promise that has virtually no basis in reality?
But Big Daddy’s the boss. What he says goes. Case closed.

For many Republicans, this trope apparently offers comfort. Fathers, after all, are brave, strong and filled with correctitude. They lay down the law; you follow it. Easy peasy. So much for Republican allegiance to independence and self-sufficiency. When it comes to government authority, the only difference between a daddy state and a mommy state is the number of bullets in the magazine.

The problems Trump cites, whether China’s currency manipulation or illegal immigration, are real enough. It’s his build-it and ban-’em solutions that are overbroad and draconian.

Doesn’t matter.

What voters hear when Trump speaks is validation of their anger, resentment, fear and loathing. This folie à deux between demagogue and populace (the leader and the led) is nothing new, but a substantial percentage of GOP voters are managing to overlook Trump’s parallels to history’s other authoritarian figures. They, too, invariably appealed to nationalistic, nativist pride and made enemies of 'the others.' . .

So exactly what does it mean to be 'authoritarian' in MacWilliams’s parlance? In a word, it means you obey — and that you value obedience.

Authoritarians also are attracted to strong leaders and react strongly to outsiders when they feel threatened. These qualities aren’t necessarily an indictment of either Trump or his supporters. It is natural to want to protect one’s home (land) when intruders are reportedly about. And who in her right mind wants a weak leader? Been there, haven’t we?

Trouble is in the details, or, in Trump’s case, the lack thereof. His plans and policies are amateurish to pretend-ish, certainly as compared with those of someone such as Jeb Bush, who has offered detailed plans for tackling complicated issues. Not that voters are going to read them. . .

Today’s voters are so mad they can’t see — or think — straight. They want simple solutions and simplistic slogans. With Trump, they get both, as well as a furious father figure, who, snapping off his belt for a good whuppin’, will build a wall, bomb the hell out of ’em, and bravely defend 'Merry Christmas.'"

Read the Washington Post, Who are Trump’s supporters in America? Authoritarians.

Monday, January 18, 2016

The 2016 Election: Showcasing Republi-CON (Satan's) Fear, Anger, and Hatred

UPDATE V:  "'I will gladly accept the mantle of anger.'

Thus did Donald Trump react this week to South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who in her Republican response to the State of the Union address bravely called on Americans to resist the temptation 'to follow the siren call of the angriest voices.'

And nobody wears the mantle of anger as well as Trump. The rest of the Republican presidential contenders, acolytes in anger all, seem happy to help him on with the cloak, to hem the sleeves and let out the waist until the fury fits perfectly.

Republicans like to blame Trump for hijacking the party, but equally to blame are the others in the race for letting it happen — and continuing to do so, now just two weeks from the Iowa caucuses. Thursday night’s debate was another depressing development: Any of four men on the stage — Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie or John Kasich — could have been a viable alternative to the fear and demagoguery offered by Trump and Ted Cruz. Instead, they cluttered the stage and quarreled among themselves, offering little beyond faint echoes of Trump’s rage. . .

The GOP race is typically described as a struggle between the outsiders and the establishment. Really it’s a battle between the demagogic (Cruz and Trump) and the selfish (Rubio, Bush, Christie, Kasich). The latter candidates, blinded by certainty in their own magnificence, refuse to clear the field so that one of them can take on the demagogues. (Ben Carson, the other man on the stage, appeared to have wandered, bewildered, into the debate.)

The polling shows the dilemma: Trump averages about a third of the GOP vote, Cruz a fifth. The four others together are about a quarter – enough to give voters a viable alternative to Trump and Cruz, if only they could put country before self.

Worse, they seem content to echo and imitate Trump. Haley, in the audience for Thursday’s debate in South Carolina, got little support for her noble call this week for tolerance. . .

So if Trump’s other rivals are only going to ape his paranoia and rage, why would voters accept an imitation if they can have the original?"

Read the Washington Post, Trump’s rivals help him hijack the GOP.  

UPDATE IV:  "It’s still very possible that Donald Trump won’t win the GOP nomination. His GOP rivals — particularly Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio — will obviously fight him to the bitter end. If a clear establishment alternative — such as Rubio — emerges, senior Republicans will unite behind him, particularly if Trump continues to roll along.

But last night’s GOP debate suggests that in one important way, Republicans have already surrendered to Trump: they have mostly given up on trying to resist the terms of the debate as he has set them, and have mostly accepted that the battle will be fought on his turf."

Read the Washington Post, Republicans have surrendered to Donald Trump.

UPDATE III:  "President Obama suggested Tuesday that the United States may not, in fact, be on the verge of total collapse. The Republican presidential candidates responded in Thursday’s GOP debate by painting an even more dismal and dangerous picture than they had in the past. The president is a traitor. The military is a shell of a fighting force. The economy is a shambles. Average families are in grave danger. If Democrats win, the country is lost.

With only a few weeks left before the first primary contests, the GOP race has devolved into a competition for who can squeeze the most political advantage out of voter fear, no matter how over-the-top they sound and no matter how much damage they do by darkening the national mood. Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.) 'won' the latest round of this increasingly disgusting show, with Donald Trump and Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) coming in second. But being the most effective at exaggerating the dangers the country faces and preying on voter anger is not an achievement; it is a moral failure."

Read the Washington Post, The dismal, dark, traitor-filled world Republican candidates inhabit, where you can read "the world according to" Republi-CONs

UPDATE II:  Now Republi-CONs are worried that party members are "follow[ing] the siren call of the angriest voices."

This after years of the same message:  "Be afraid. That fear and the anger from the GOP establishment’s apparent complacency are the reasons behind the strength of Trump, Cruz and others. Platitudes from Nikki Haley and others won’t stop that fear as long as they keep feeding it."

Read the Washington Post, Nikki Haley shows how the GOP establishment has fueled Trump’s rise. 

UPDATE:  "Cruz’s speeches are marked by what you might call pagan brutalism. There is not a hint of compassion, gentleness and mercy. Instead, his speeches are marked by a long list of enemies, and vows to crush, shred, destroy, bomb them. When he is speaking in a church the contrast between the setting and the emotional tone he sets is jarring.

Cruz lays down an atmosphere of apocalyptic fear. America is heading off 'the cliff to oblivion.'. .

As the Republican strategist Curt Anderson observed in Politico, there’s no variation in Cruz’s rhetorical tone. As is the wont of inauthentic speakers, everything is described as a maximum existential threat.

The fact is this apocalyptic diagnosis is ridiculous. The Obama administration has done things people like me strongly disagree with. But America is in better economic shape than any other major nation on earth. Crime is down. Abortion rates are down. Fourteen million new jobs have been created in five years. . .

But Cruz manufactures an atmosphere of menace in which there is no room for compassion, for moderation, for anything but dismantling and counterattack. And that is what he offers. Cruz’s programmatic agenda, to the extent that it exists in his speeches, is to destroy things: destroy the I.R.S., crush the 'jackals' of the E.P.A., end funding for Planned Parenthood, reverse Obama’s executive orders, make the desert glow in Syria, destroy the Iran nuclear accord. . .

Cruz exploits and exaggerates that fear. . .

The best conservatism balances support for free markets with a Judeo-Christian spirit of charity, compassion and solidarity. Cruz replaces this spirit with Spartan belligerence. He sows bitterness, influences his followers to lose all sense of proportion and teaches them to answer hate with hate. This Trump-Cruz conservatism looks more like tribal, blood and soil European conservatism than the pluralistic American kind.

Evangelicals and other conservatives have had their best influence on American politics when they have proceeded in a spirit of personalism — when they have answered hostility with service and emphasized the infinite dignity of each person. They have won elections as happy and hopeful warriors. Ted Cruz’s brutal, fear-driven, apocalypse-based approach is the antithesis of that."

Read The New York Times, The Brutalism of Ted Cruz.

Read also the Washington Post, David Brooks’s choice words on Cruz — ‘satanic’, ‘pagan’ — draw fire and a little brimstone, in which Brooks notes that other candidates are "'adopting some of the dark and satanic tones that Cruz has . . if you watch a Cruz speech, it’s like, we have got this enemy, we have got that enemy, we’re going to stomp on this person, we’re going to crush that person, we’re going to destroy that person.  It is an ugly world in Ted Cruz’s world. And it’s combative. And it’s angry, and it’s apocalyptic.'"

From the Washington Post, White Americans are boiling mad:

Friday, January 15, 2016

"Trump, Carson, or Cruz" (Now "Cruz, Trump or Rubio")

UPDATE VII:  Pastor Truthiness (aka Huckster and Con Man Gullible-Gallups) endorses the Franken-Trump/Trumpenstein (© 

Read Rick's Blog, Who endorsed Trump yesterday.

Of course, The Donald is quite the Godly man, so who else would Satan's Pastor pick ;-).

UPDATE VI: "Many legal scholars say Cruz supports an approach to constitutional law in which modern readers try to understand what the words in the Constitution would have meant to the people who wrote them and voted to ratify them more than two centuries ago. It's a concept known as originalism, and it's especially popular with conservatives. . .

On this straightforward, intuitive, and deeply conservative reasoning, several prominent legal scholars have argued Cruz is arguably not a natural-born citizen. As the Founding Fathers and their contemporaries probably would have understood that phrase, the argument goes, Cruz is ineligible for the presidency — not because he was born in Canada, but because he was born in Canada to a Cuban father. . .

'He should disqualify himself,' said Thomas Lee, a legal scholar at Fordham University, adding that Cruz should 'just be consistent.'

Lee explains that in medieval English law, the term "natural born" originally referred to subjects of the crown who were born in English territory.

Under King Edward III, who reigned from 1327 to 1377, England expanded this definition to include the children of ambassadors and soldiers who were serving the monarch overseas. In the centuries to come, Parliament modified the definition further to include the children of private English subjects who happened to be abroad.

In the late 18th century, though, that definition did not include English mothers who were traveling. If they conceived children with foreign men, it was assumed those children would not be loyal English subjects and were not considered 'natural born.' . .

[A]t the time [the Constitution] was ratified in 1788, Lee has argued that the phrase 'natural born' would have carried a specific legal meaning. Natural-born citizens would have been those born in the United States, or born abroad to fathers who were U.S. citizens. On that interpretation, Cruz would not have qualified because his mother was a citizen and his father was not. If Cruz takes an originalist approach to constitutional law, then by this logic, he should come to the conclusion that he is not natural born."

Read the Washington Post, Why the subtle sexism of the Founding Fathers might disqualify Ted Cruz for president.

UPDATE V:  Of course, there is always Jeb! Who.

Read the Washington Post, Lowered expectations are a blessing in disguise for Jeb Bush.  

UPDATE IV:  The problem with the Franken-Trump/Trumpenstein (© is that he's "a xenophobic showman who has been spreading fear and anger across the land toward immigrants, minorities, women, the disabled and, particularly, Muslims."

Read the Washington Post, Obama answers Trump’s dangerous demagoguery.
UPDATE III:  Of course, Birthers would say that Rubio is not a natural-born citizen because he was born (albeit in the United States) to parents who were not U.S. citizens at the time of his birth.

And as noted before, Ted Cruz is undoubtedly not a natural-born citizenTed Cruz "was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, to a 'U.S. citizen mother and a Cuban immigrant father', giving him dual Canadian-American citizenship." Cruz only recently "renounce his Canadian citizenship and ceased being a citizen of Canada, on May 14, 2014."

Read also the Washington Post, Ted Cruz is not eligible to be president, which notes: "President Obama is without question eligible for the office he serves. The distinction between the president and Cruz is simple: The president was born within the United States, and the senator was born outside of it. That is a distinction with a difference."

So for a truly sincere non-racist Birther, the only choice is the Franken-Trump/Trumpenstein (©

UPDATE II:  The question now is "Cruz, Trump or Rubio".

And before you answer, read the Washington Post, 3 very real warning signs for Donald Trump in Iowa:, which notes:

"One of the things that becomes important as the election approaches is the confidence voters have that their chosen candidate can defeat the opposing party in the general election. Most signs point to that opponent being Hillary Clinton, and Iowa voters are less convinced than they were last month that Trump is the right guy to pit against her. (Which is probably true.)

In fact, Iowans think Cruz and Rubio would both be about as successful against Clinton as Trump — suggesting that Cruz or Rubio might gain more support as voters make up their minds.

Trump's support is also higher among voters that have never participated in a caucus before. He sees this as a good thing — that he's energizing people to come to the polls. Maybe he is. But people who've never voted before have a 0 percent track record of getting to the polls, making relying on them to turn out awfully risky. (Notice below that Rubio gets a lot more support from would-be first-timers, too.)

Third, more than a quarter of Iowans say they'd never back Trump. That's the same as wouldn't back Jeb Bush, for what it's worth. But it's far higher than any of the other leading candidates."

UPDATE: "One simple mental exercise when considering electability is: Would you feel at least barely safe with this person running the affairs of state for even a day? A week? Though a couple of Cruz’s legislative policy proposals are far to the right of Trump’s, you could at least see Cruz sitting in the Oval Office for 24 hours without destroying the world. You can’t be as sure with someone as spontaneous as Trump. . .

Debating whether Trump or Cruz is more electable in the general election is like debating whether Trump or Cruz is more likely to be the MVP in the next Super Bowl. Each is a very poor prospect for separate reasons: One has extremely conservative politics, while the other is a visibly insane person. This is why party leaders are still desperately hoping that Christie, Rubio, Bush, or Kasich can make something happen."

Read Slate, Why the GOP Establishment Would Prefer Ted Cruz to Donald Trump.

"Pretend they were your only choices for president."

Who would you pick?

Read Slate, Let’s Play “Trump, Carson, or Cruz”.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Are Birthers (Including Huckster and Con Man Gullible-Gallups) Racists Hypocrites?

UPDATE II:  "A new study shows that negative ads targeting President Obama in 2008 depicted him with very dark skin, and that these images would have appealed to some viewers’ racial biases.

The finding reinforces charges that some Republican politicians seek to win votes by implying support for racist views and ethnic hierarchies, without voicing those prejudices explicitly. The purported tactic is often called “dog-whistle politics” — just as only canines can hear a dog whistle, only prejudiced voters are aware of the racist connotations of a politician’s statement, according to the theory."

Read the Washington Post, Obama’s skin looks a little different in these GOP campaign ads.

Birtherism is also a racist dog-whistle.

UPDATE:  "[W]e’re entitled to savor some schadenfreude now as Cruz himself gets caught in the birther web. Donald Trump’s questioning of Cruz’s status as a natural-born American and, therefore, his eligibility to be president is rough justice. Cruz, like Trump, has stoked the fires of resentment and xenophobia, so it’s entirely fitting that he gets burned. . .

[T]he birther movement, led by Trump, which . . . to portray the first African American president as a foreigner. Now Trump is, with his characteristic disregard for truth, attempting to turn the same nativist forces against his nearest competitor in the Republican primary."

Read the Washington Post, Ted Cruz gets burned by the birther fires he stoked.  

Here's the chance to see if Sheriff Joe 'Scooby-Doo' Arpaio and his gang -- (including the incredibly inept Cold Case Posterior-man Zullo and Pastor Truthiness (aka Huckster and Con Man Gullible-Gallups), Arpaio’s enablers and co-conspirators --  are sincerely 'concerned citizens', or just plain racist.

Ted Cruz "was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, to a 'U.S. citizen mother and a Cuban immigrant father', giving him dual Canadian-American citizenship." Cruz only recently "renounce his Canadian citizenship and ceased being a citizen of Canada, on May 14, 2014."

Ergo, Ted Cruz is undoubtedly not a natural-born citizen.
The Donald agrees.

"Donald Trump said in an interview that rival Ted Cruz’s Canadian birthplace was a 'very precarious' issue that could make the senator from Texas vulnerable if he became the Republican presidential nominee."

Read the Washington Post, Trump says Cruz’s Canadian birth could be ‘very precarious’ for GOP.

So will Zullo investigate Cruz?

Will Huckster and Con Man Gullible-Gallups regularly and vigorously denounce and condemn Cruz?

And will Sheriff Scooby-Doo arrest Cruz at his next AZ campaign stop?

Or are the three just racist hypocrites?

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Message or Messenger?

From the Washington Post, Is the 2016 GOP problem the message or the messenger?:

Are You a Hedgehog or a Fox?

UPDATE II:  "How do you spot a hedgehog? [Philip Tetlock, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania who has spent decades studying how people make predictions,] says to listen to their arguments and watch out for 'the experts who say 'moreover' more often than they say 'however'' — i.e., people who double down on their arguments without qualifying them with contrasting information — as well as those who declare things 'impossible' or 'certain.'

You can probably guess that Tetlock's superforecasters are not 'hedgehogs.' Instead, they are the kind of person that Tetlock dubs 'foxes.'

According to Tetlock, foxes are more pragmatic and open-minded, aggregating information from a wide variety of sources. They talk in terms of probability and possibility, rather than certainty, and they tend to use words like 'however,' 'but,' 'although' and 'on the other hand' when speaking.

When it comes to prediction, the foxes outfox the hedgehogs. While the hedgehogs managed to do slightly worse than random chance, the foxes had real foresight. The foxes weren’t just more cautious in their predictions, they were a lot more accurate.

Unlike hedgehogs, foxes also had a desire to keep reviewing their assumptions, updating their estimates, and improving their understanding — a kind of attitude that Tetlock calls 'perpetual beta.' Tetlock says that this approach is the single most important ingredient for learning to make accurate predictions. 'For superforecasters, beliefs are hypotheses to be tested, not treasures to be guarded,' Tetlock and Gardner write.

Read the Washington Post, The secrets the world’s top experts use to make really good predictions.

UPDATE: Humble, perceptive and self-reflective leaders seem to outshine their more brash and charismatic counterparts. Read The New York Times, The Humble Hound.

Are you a humble hound?

Don't know what I mean, then read The New York Times, Learning How to Think.

Hint: "The Hedgehog and the Fox" was the title of an essay by Isaiah Berlin about Russian author Leo Tolstoy's theory of history.

So I ask again, are you a hedgehog, or a fox?

Monday, January 4, 2016

The Republi-CON "Western Moral Superiority" Myth

"Guests at a Jewish wedding in Jerusalem in December 2015 celebrated and mocked "the death of 18-month-old Ali Dawabsheh. 

One guest danced while a holding a knife through picture of the young boy.

The toddler and his parents died after an arson attack on their home in July."

Read the Daily Mail Shocking footage from Israeli Jewish wedding shows guests celebrating the death of a Palestinian baby burned alive in an arson attack.

Read also the story of a Northwest Florida Muslim family "confronted in a grocery store [that same week]. A man threw bacon in [their] cart and said 'Merry Christmas.' It was an unmistakable slur, as Muslims don't eat pork, it's considered unclean in their religion."
Read WEAR ABC 3, Local Muslim stands up for dad after offensive incident at a grocery store.

And don't forget America's own sordid history, including "The Scalp Industry".

"For example, Confederate guerrillas led by Bloody Bill Anderson were well known for decorating their saddles with the scalps of Union soldiers they had killed."

Friday, January 1, 2016

The Republi-CON "Must Have" New Year's Present

"Brace yourself for the Putin 2016 calendar.

Famous for his topless horse riding, shirtless fishing and bare-chested shooting, Russian president Vladimir Putin has been celebrated in the Putin 2016 calendar, produced by Russia's 'Stars and Advice' magazine.

The twelve shots reveal both the president's tough and sensitive sides, although he is resolutely covered up (for the most part).

But while he keeps his clothes on, the posed pictures are no less bizarre.

Each picture sets the Russian supremo in natural settings and are accompanied by nationalistic quotes."

Read the Daily Mail, Now you can spend all year with Vladimir Putin!