September 28, 2015

so goes one of my favorite Lindsey Buckingham compositions with Fleetwood Mac.

Perfection thy name is Jordan Spieth. What a great year he had. 22 million dollars in winnings, two majors, the Fed Ex Cup, and through all of it a class act to boot. You look at Spieth, Jason Day, Rory McIlroy, and Rickie Fowler and how can you not root for such a great bunch of young golfers? They are all a pleasure to watch.

One of the reasons I like Donald Trump so much is that he sees the media for the vile clowns they are. You watch this clip with Ben Carson and Jake Tapper from CNN, and I can’t help but wonder why he’s so willing to play along. To me it shows nothing but weakness. The sooner he and all of the GOP candidates for President recognize that the media is the enemy and treats them as such, the better off they’ll all be.

On a similar line of thought: notice how the Tappers of the mainstream media want the discussion around the GOP candidates to be anything else but how crappy and pathetic the last seven years of an Obama presidency has left everything. The world is going to crap, no one respects the United States anymore, racial relationships in the U.S. are at their lowest ebb in a half century, leaving the African-American community in shambles. Is it any wonder the mainstream media would rather talk about Muslims in the White House?

John Boehner can say what he wants. The fact is, as Speaker of the House he was nothing but a weepy, pathetic, jelly-spined Washington pol – no more, no less. And the same holds true for “the turtle”, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. If you want to know why so many conservatives want to see the GOP and its establishment tossed into the dustbin of history, these two clowns serve as the poster children.

It’s a pleasure watching the New England Patriots show the NFL exactly what they think about it.

But of course. The whole global warming charade is, and has never been, anything but a ploy by liberals to redistribute wealth and make Americans feel guilty about capitalism, prosperity, and American exceptionalism. These people are nothing but self-hating, chardonnay-swilling, urban elitists who surround themselves with like-minded folks who need to get a life and ought to be called out for the disingenuous and hypocritical liars they are. Have I made myself clear?

And speaking of liars

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:46 | Comments Off on Monday Morning You Sure Look Fine…
September 25, 2015

I tried to tell y’all after the last GOP debate that there would be a push for fewer candidates. Personally, given Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s performance during both debates it was pretty clear he was not ready for prime time. Now, if only his Ohio counterpart John Kasich would get the message and a few other going-nowhere’s like Jim Gilmore, Gorge Pataki, Bobby Jindal, and Lindsey Graham would take the hint we can start having an earnest conversation about who should be the next GOP nominee for President.

I’m trying to hang with Donald Trump but, as I suppose I had suspected from the start he’s all bluff and bluster. I mean, getting into a new pi$$ing match with Megyn Kelly and FOX News or threatening the Club for Growth with a lawsuit because they happen to run a hard ad against him is not the demeanor of someone who should be considered for the highest office in the land. The race for the presidency is about ideas and vision, not bluster and buffoonery. Is he entertaining? Sure, but right now we’re thirteen months away from Election Night and just a few months away from the Iowa caucuses, and you’ve got to start giving voters something to hang their hat (and votes) on besides a big ego and personality. Hell, we’ve already got that in the White House and where has it gotten us?

Leave it to Hillary Clinton to camouflage her decision to come out against the Keystone pipeline behind the Pope’s U.S. visit. Not only is she a corrupt and dishonest witch, she’s a gutless weasel as well.

There’s such a double-standard in the mainstream media. They spend every waking hour trying to pick apart the GOP candidates but not one of them will ask a serious question of Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders. Here’s one they might try asking: “Mrs. Clinton, as a leader in the Democratic Party and a former senator, do you, and would you, support Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse’s “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act” passed by the House last week and now introduced in the Senate for consideration? And, if not, why not? I doubt you’ll get any form of a yes. And you know why? It’s Hillary Clinton and the Democrats that are the extremists on the abortion issue, not Republicans or conservatives.

…and while they’re at it, they might want to ask Mrs. Clinton if she scheduled her annual mammogram through Planned Parenthood yet. After all, we’re told endlessly how PP is a “women’s health organization”, right? Surprise, surprise.

Planned Parenthood, the nation’s top abortion provider, swears up and down that notwithstanding the numerous admissions made on tape by its top officials, the organization doesn’t buy or sell organs and body parts harvested from aborted babies. Then, in order to defend its reputation, Planned Parenthood points to other medical procedures performed by the group that don’t result in body counts. One of its top rhetorical gimmicks is to reference all the mammograms that women can receive by visiting Planned Parenthood:

Planned Parenthood helps women nationwide get access to mammograms, as part of the range of health care Planned Parenthood health centers provide to nearly three million people a year.

There’s only one problem: Planned Parenthood does not manage a single licensed mammography facility in the U.S. Not one. Of the 8,735 licensed mammography facilities in America, Planned Parenthood operates exactly zero.

Planned Parenthood is a vile, without conscience, ghoulish for-profit abortion provider, period. And the fact that Republicans in the U.S. Senate don’t even have the political gonads to defund this criminal organization is just one more example of why the Republican Party needs to be blown up.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 01:41 | Comments (2)
September 23, 2015

So official Autumn arrived in the early morning hours. You can almost feel the drumbeat of snowbirds starting to make their way south from the Dakotas, Canada, and the Great Plains to the Valley of the Sun. Great for local commerce, bad for folks like me who enjoy affordable golf. A few thoughts on this first day of Fall:

When I heard this on Friday I said to myself, he’s done. Now maybe a 40-year old Tiger who, from all accounts, possesses a body twenty years older because of his health history can turn back the hands of time and once again be a force on the PGA Tour, but I highly doubt it. I would say this new is ominous as far as his professional golf future goes.

You better believe Suzann Petterson should have apologized for not conceding Alison Lee’s 16-inch putt during last weekend’s Solheim Cup. I mean, I know you know better than that, Suzann.

…of course, if I had a 16-inch putt to win the Goodboys Invitational and my playing partners started to concede my putt I’d beg them to stop so I could grab my 3-wood out of my bag. No way I’m making that putt, even by accident!

…and speaking of the Solheim Cup, how about “The Pink Panther” Paula Creamer (great pic, eh?) making a fool out of those (I’ll admit, I was one of ’em) who said she hadn’t played well enough in 2015 to be a captain’s pick? Not only did she play well throughout the weekend she got the winning point for the US. Forgive me, Panther, for being such a fool!

Why shouldn’t the White House compare Barack Obama to Pope Francis? After all, they’re both Marxists.

While on the subject of the Pope, I have to tell you as a Roman Catholic I really don’t like much about him. He’s a socialism-loving, capitalism-hating socialist who doesn’t seem to understand that it is capitalism that lifts people out of poverty and socialism that condemns the classes to what they are.

Given my bee episode this summer this story scares the bejeezus out of me. That location is no more than twenty minutes from my house.

Headline: Rowdy GOLF MOOSE scares golfers off Colorado course. Maybe he just insists on always having the honors. I’d let him play through!

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:49 | Comments Off on Fall Blogging
September 22, 2015

OK, shall we talk about whatever contemporary female vocalists you think can sing? Look, I like Katy Perry as much as anyone. Beyoncé? Taylor Swift? Well, let’s just put anything they’ve done (as good as they might be) up against these songs from Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks in the decade between 1976 and 1987. And it’s not just her vocals, her songwriting abilities and the intensity underlying both are pretty incredible to behold thirty years later (has it been that long)?

An unreleased version of “Silver Springs” from 1976.

Time cast a spell on you…but you won’t forget me
(I was such a fool)
I know I could’ve loved you, but you would not let me
(Give me one more chance)
I’ll follow you down ’til the sound of my voice will haunt you
(Haunt you)
You’ll never get away from the sound of the woman that loves you

A very intense song that brings back equally intense memories.

“Dreams”, from Rumours, 1976:

Now here I go again, I see the crystal visions
I keep my visions to myself, it’s only me
Who wants to wrap around your dreams and,
Have you any dreams you’d like to sell?
Dreams of loneliness,
Like a heartbeat, drives you mad
In the stillness of remembering, what you had,
And what you lost and what you had and what you lost

It’s been played so much on radio that it becomes almost ubiquitous to the ears, but taken on its own it’s still a great song.

“Angel”, from Tusk in 1979.

So I close my eyes softly
‘Til I become that part of the wind
That we all long for sometime, yeah
And to those that I love
Like a ghost through a fog
Like a charmed hour
And a haunted song
And the angel of my dreams

One of Nicks’ truly unheralded tunes. Lindsay Buckingham’s grunge guitar in the back rocks.

“Sara”, from Tusk in 1979.

Hold on, the night is coming
And the starling flew for days and days
I’d stay home at night all the time
Well, I’d go anywhere, anywhere, anywhere
Ask me and I will be there
You just ask me and I’ll be there

Drowning in the sea of love
Where everyone would love to drown
And now it’s gone
They say it doesn’t matter what for
When you build your house, call me

Don’t know what it all means but it’s a damned fine tune.

“Storms”, from Tusk in 1979. A song so intense in the memories that it brings back from that time that even three decades later I find it difficult to listen to.

Every night that goes between
I feel a little less
As you slowly go away from me
This is only another test

Every night you do not come
Your softness fades away
Did I ever really care that much?
Is there anything left to say?

Every hour of fear I spend
My body tries to cry
Living through each empty night
A deadly calm inside

So I try to say goodbye, my friend
I’d like to leave you with something warm
But never have I been a blue calm sea
I have always been a storm

“Beautiful Child”, from Tusk in 1979.

I’m not a child anymore
I’m tall enough
To reach the stars
I’m old enough
To love you from afar
Too trusting yes?
But then women usually are
I’m not a child anymore
No, I’m not a child, oh no
Tall enough to reach for the stars
I will do
As I’m told
Even if I never hold you again
I never hold you again

This is so very “Tusk”. Sparse. Intensely personal. One of the reasons I love the album so.

“Gypsy”, from Mirage in 1981. (OK, so I violated the rules of the post, still…)

To the gypsy that remains
Faces freedom with a little fear
I have no fear, I have only love
And if I was a child
And the child was enough
Enough for me to love
Enough to love

She is dancing away from me now
She was just a wish
She was just a wish
And a memory is all that is left for you now
You see your gypsy
You see your gypsy

Lightning strikes, maybe once, maybe twice

Compared with her songs from Tusk, this is as light and breezy as a midsummer day. Lindsay Buckingham’s guitar work at the end sparkles and shimmers light sunlight on water.

And, finally, how about “Seven Wonders”, from Tango In The Night in 1987?

So it’s hard to find
Someone with that kind of intensity
You touched my hand I played it cool
And you reached out your hand for me
But if our paths never cross
Well you know I’m sorry but
If I live to see the seven wonders
I’ll make a path to the rainbow’s end
I’ll never live to match the beauty again
The rainbow’s end

Although I must admit, as much as the melody and lyrics are cool, John McVie’s bass line makes me drool with envy.

Pretty damned good stuff, dontcha think?

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:46 | Comments Off on Can We Talk About How Great a Vocalist and Songwriter Stevie Nicks Was During Fleetwood Mac’s Heyday?
September 21, 2015

We’ve still got a good 3-4 weeks left before the traditional 2nd week in October even when the heat gods flip the temperature switch off until next April and the Valley of the Sun goes into “Arizona winter” mode, but the signs are all around us that the seasons are changing. We’ve actually got a non-monsoon related storm approaching from the southwest that could dump anywhere between 1-2″ on us between now and Wednesday.

But the signs are everywhere as well. Like the voice message from the tree people calling to schedule the fall feeding of the queen palms. And driving through Scottsdale today I saw a couple of golf courses teeming with mowers cutting the summer Bermuda grass down to the nubs in preparation for winter rye grass seeding. That’s something that’s on the agenda for our yards in the next couple of weeks, and I’ve already cut back on the watering in preparation for that.

Of course, the ultimate sign that the seasons are changing is the replacement of summer flowers with fall flowers in the pots that sit on either side of our driveway. The task itself isn’t all that hard: I simply pull out the fake hydrangeas and replace then with fake orange and white flowers which look really nice and fall-like.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:05 | Comments Off on The Seasons Are A’Changing
September 19, 2015

September is not a fall month here in the Valley of the Sun. The days when there is no monsoon are still in the low 100s, and a walk to the mailbox in the late afternoon will make its return a hurried one knowing that air conditioning awaits. For sure, the nights are starting to cool down, but even the mid- to upper seventies will keep the swimming pool temperature tolerable for swimming until the end of the month.

There comes a point every year at this time, however, where the sense of the coming fall season (or, rather, the coming of “no heat”) becomes most apparent, and it is a joyful one for me. It is the Friday when Carmelo and his gang show up and Carmelo shows that purposeful look about him. All of a sudden, after months and months of maintaining property through the heat, he calls you over to discuss strategy for the coming “no heat” season.

This year, Carmelo’s main concern is with the front lawn and the back. “There’s not enough green showing on the grass”, he tells me. His concern lies with the fact that, while the lawn looks green, it’s only the top 1/4″ that’s green; underneath that everything is brown. And he doesn’t like the terrain: while it’s true anyone driving past our house wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between our lawn and Shawn’s and Keith’s (or neighbors), Carmelo knows better. Underneath all that seemingly lush grass lies the remnants of February’s sewer line fiasco. Carmelo’s plan? “I’m going to cut the grass down to the nubs and lay topsoil on top of anything that’s uneven.” The winter rye he’ll plant will start the true reclamation project. “By next summer you’ll have a lawn worthy of a putting green”, he tells me.

I believe him.

Out back, Carmelo knows we’re in a transition period. He sawed off the branches of the queen palms broken in the last storm but still isn’t satisfied. He wants to cut more branches, I want him to leave things as is.

“That’s OK”, he says without a smile on his face. “Next spring you’ll be begging me to take them down.”

I believe him.

It’s the back lawn that’s going to require some coordination between us. I’ve planted dichondra to cover the half that was just basically dirt, but with all the water I’ve been giving it the Bermuda grass has flourished on the other half. So in two weeks Carmelo is going to cut the Bermuda down to the nubs, after which I will cover it with topsoil and seed with dichondra to see how it all works out. Carmelo loves the dichondra idea: it is so green and so bright that the Tiki bar deck will look like it is swimming in a sea of clover.

“Beautiful.”, he says.

The final work we undertake is to stake some cactus that has grown as high as the lower eaves of the roof so that the winter storms don’t blow it over. My thinking was to simply tie them together with some green tape or cord to serve as a stabilizing force, but Carmelo will hear nothing of it. “I have some tree stakes in my truck that will take care of it”, says he. And he’s right: These are 8-foot wooden stakes dug into the ground, upon which he places a metal thing that looks like something you’d see on top of a cell-phone tower. He then grabs his 8-foot ladder and a mallet, then drives the wooden stake further into the ground by pounding the crap out of it. After tying it all together and it looks like a thing of beauty.

As Carmelo and his team leaves, he gives one last look at the mesquite tree in the back yard and shakes his head: it has already grown back exponentially from the $200 trim he gave it just two weeks ago.

“El tigre”, says he, shaking his head. “That tree will never be tamed. All that water you’re giving the dichondra is just causing it to come back faster. We’ll need to trim it again before next March.”

That’s why I love Carmelo. Even if I were I to lose my job and couldn’t afford anything else but food, I’d rather go hungry than having to go and not pay my landscaper. He is el hombre.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 02:56 | Comments Off on Carmelo’s September Song
September 18, 2015

If you’re a Beatles fan this is something that should be on every fan’s Christmas list. Would love to see the Beach Boys and the Rolling Stones come up with a similar concept.

I can wait for Christmas to get that. But what I’d really like for Christmas this year is this.

While there are few bigger fans of LPGA star Paula Creamer than yours truly, there’s no way she should have been a captain’s pick for this year’s PGA’s Solheim Cup team. She’s had a terrible year – that 81 with a quadruple bogey last weekend had to have been pretty embarrassing – and really doesn’t deserve someone else’s slot. But being the kind of guy I am, I’m giving her a mulligan for this year – after all, she got married last December and is obviously very happy with her life right now. Hopefully the “Pink Panther” uses the upcoming off-season to get her head and her game back in check and ready to do battle in 2016.

Is there any question that Jason Day is the best golfer on the planet right now? And it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

On the other hand, maybe he is and maybe he isn’t, but there’s something about Zach Johnson that leaves me cold. Just the way he looks, dresses, and acts on the course comes across as some arrogant, prickly pretty boy who thinks the rest of us are just a bunch of low-life turds.

I like Carly Fiorina but we’re about to find out just what she’s made of over the next few weeks. I don’t think she has a clue about the tsunami of attention and criticism about to come her way. Unlike Sarah Palin, she’s no dope and she’s not out of her league. But she better be prepared to take a beating because it’s coming.

Ohio Governor John Kasich is a dope.

And so is Jeb Bush.

Can’t we somehow clear the field down to six candidates – Trump, Fiorina, Carson, Rubio, Cruz, and Christie, and let them hash it all out in front of the voters? The rest are clearly not ready for prime-time, and what the GOP voters need right now more than anything else is clarity.

Red State’s streiff calls it “A shameful day without parallel in American history.” The Republicans in Washington – in particular, John Boehner and Mitch McConnell – are a disgrace. All I want to do right now is blow up the entire GOP establishment. And if it takes electing a blowhard like Donald Trump to do it, I’m all for it. What’s the point of electing Republicans if they won’t even fight for something so obviously critical to our national security?

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:52 | Comments Off on Thursday Thoughts
September 17, 2015

Post title comes from one of my favorite Rolling Stones albums, BTW. The UK version is best because it has my all-time Rolling Stones favorite tune on it.

Been checking out a lot of blogs (both liberal and conservative) following the second GOP debate and I now have things pretty clear in the looking glass the following points:

1. I’m with Conservative Treehouse on this: Wall Street (the biggest Democrat supporters) really thought that the Donald Trump candidacy would have imploded by now, but his performance during the second debate indicates he’s not going anywhere anytime soon. He’s become the Joe Biden of the Republican Party, nothing sticks to him

2. …as a result, look for VP Joe Biden to enter the race by Halloween. The big Dem donors know Hillary!’s candidacy is not just treading water, but they know he knows that there’s bad stuff about to be released as far as her e-mail server scandal is concerned, and there might be even more to it than that.

3. Which is why Hillary! is about to embark on an apology tour the likes of which you’ve never seen before. But it’s all futile: female voters have tuned her out, and Democratic Party insiders are increasingly aware that they’ve got a big, orange-pantsuited albatross around their collective necks.

4. Both Jeb! Bush’s and John Kasich’s respective candidacies are doomed. Wouldn’t surprise me to see the GOP establishment money start being directed to Marco Rubio, and a not-so-subtle push by the RNC to begin an aggressive push to winnow down the field to six candidates: Trump, Fiorina, Carson, Rubio, Christie / Bush / Walker, and Cruz as a way to better focus their guns on Donald Trump by the next debate.

5. Don’t believe me? The GOP establishment has to know that the only way they’re going to take down Trump is to put him on stage in a setting where he won’t be able to hide behind a large field. They believe that’s the only way they’ll be able to smoke him out as some kind of wizard revealed behind the blue curtain.

6. But of course, Trump knows this, so look for him over the next month to start releasing policy papers with positions and people (Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, for one) who will be advising him on issues going forward. Just in time before the holidays get everyone’s attention.

7. All of which will lead up to a Trump / Biden matchup for the 2016 Presidential nomination. How that plays out will be anyone’s guess. But it ought to be entertaining, to say the least.

Just a guess on my part, we’ll see how it all plays out.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 00:24 | Comments Off on Aftermath
September 16, 2015

I have to say that CNN did a OK job with the questions and keeping the flow going and giving everyone a chance. But how they figured out how to spend three hours and not ask anyone about Obamacare, The VA scandal, Hillary Clinton’s e-mail debacle and the IRS scandal is beyond me. Nevertheless, here are my ratings from top to bottom:

Carly Fiorina: Had the strongest night of all by far. The way she handled the Trump “face comment” issue was strong. It will be interesting to see where she takes this from here, as (at least in my view) she comes across as a little hot for TV. There’s no doubt she’s poised and intelligent, can she translate that into likeability and voters?

Chris Christie: I liked the way he kind of spoke as the working-class candidate. He was especially strong on Hillary Clinton, which I think conservatives will like. I think he did himself a lot of good.

Donald Trump: No major gaffes. He obviously chose to just suck it up with the Fiorina comeback – that’s as close to an apology as Trump’s ever gonna give. Personally, I like the way he just talks differently than the politicians. His comments about North Korea were spot on, and his take on autism, rightly or wrongly, is going to resonate with everyday voters. He’s absolutely right – there is an epidemic of autism in this country, and Trump spoke to the suspicion that the FDA guidelines have something to do with it. The pundits will say that Trump is through, but they’ve been consistently wrong about Trump all along, and they will continue to do so.

Ted Cruz: I didn’t like the way he kept looking at the camera when he answered his questions – he just came across as too polished – but there’s no doubt of his conservative bona fides and he wasn’t afraid to let them show. I don’t think he’s electable in a general election, but for now he didn’t do himself any harm.

Marco Rubio: He’s a mystery to me, I’ll admit. He ought to be the shining star of the GOP field, but there’s just something too slick and too robotic about him. He knows stuff for sure, but I don’t think he speaks to the average voter in a way that touches them. Still, I think he did himself some good tonight.

The rest of field I don’t think did themselves any good:

Ben Carson: Lost a major opportunity to force himself into the race. He’s a soft-spoken, humble guy, but on a stage with ten other candidates you’ve got to find a way to work yourself into the discussion. He got kind of steam-rollered tonight.

Scott Walker: He might be a great governor, but he’s not ready for the national stage. Maybe see ya in another four to eight years, Scott.

John Kasich: He started off the debate absolutely lunatic wild-eyed, then settled into a kind of “can’t we all just get along” kind of schtick. His comments about the Iran nuclear deal were absolutely ridiculous, and the rest of the field pretty much let him know it. He’s not going anywhere.

Rand Paul: There’s no doubt the guy is smart but I don’t see him going anywhere. I see him dropping out in the next month.

Mike Huckabee: Shouldn’t even be on the stage. Say goodnight, Huckleberry.

Jeb Bush: Hopefully tonight is the end of the most pathetic candidate on the stage. Sure, he was more animated tonight but I don’t think he did himself any favors with his big $ GOP establishment donors. He’s got this kind of odd look and cadence whenever he answers questions that reminds you of some junior-high science teacher. His comments about Chief Justice John Roberts doing a good job after having upheld Obamacare (twice!) is gonna haunt him. And how stupid was his answer about putting Margaret Thatcher on U.S. currency – talk about a nitwit! I’m guessing his financial support starts drying up big-time. One can only hope.

My guess is you’ll see after this debate The Donald staying pretty much right where he is, Carly Fiorina moving up in the pack, Ben Carson dropping into the middle of the pack, and everyone else still fighting for air. Ron Paul and Scott Walker are in danger of dropping out entirely. The rest – who cares? How Fiorina handles being under the hot spotlight will be interesting to see. I certainly wouldn’t underestimate her, but I refuse to underestimate Donald Trump’s staying power, either.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 21:59 | Comments Off on GOP Debate Postmortem
September 12, 2015

A few thoughts and links between housecleaning and backyard chores:

While not much a fan of Steely Dan, I always find it intriguing and interesting to learn the background of where hit songs: what the writers were thinking, what they were attempting to accomplish, etc., so this interview with Walter Becker and Donald Fagan discussing SD’s “Deacon Blues” is pretty fascinating.

The ESPN mini-documentary about President George W. Bush’s perfect first pitch strike linked to at Hot Air thrown at Yankee Stadium during the 2001 World Series brought back some incredible memories. And Hot Air’s Allahpundit is right: maybe that was the last time this country was united around anything. Thanks in large part to Democrats and Barack Obama everything is now politicized to the point where you can’t even watch a normal night’s TV without having someone’s political agenda shoved down your throat. And, ironically and sadly, that’s especially the case at ESPN these days.

That Iran nuclear deal keeps looking worse every day, doesn’t it? My view is that very few times in politics does there arise an issue that is worth tossing all your chips on the political table. But the stakes are so high here that I’m with Townhall’s Guy Benson on this: the Republicans (and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell especially) should play the hardest of hard ball on this and halt all work in the Senate until the Democrats agree to break their filibuster preventing a vote on the deal:

Republicans hold a Senate majority, several prominent Democrats are with them, public opinion is heavily on their side, and they occupy the moral high ground. Use it. Shame Democrats for this action. Force them to vote to sustain this filibuster over and over again. Make them explain on television why their chamber has ground to a complete halt, and why they don’t believe Congress should have any say on the Iran deal. Shine a white, hot spotlight on this, day after day. Make Hillary Clinton defend them, too. And apply intense pressure to Democrats who’ve aired public misgivings about the filibuster, particularly Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and Chris Coons of Delaware.

Enough of the niceties and gentleman’s club rules; this is too important an issue to allow politics-as-is to rule. Force the Democrats to show how they really feel about the deal. Republicans must get creative here and do everything they can to sabotage this deal.

The funny thing about all this is that I’m not (at least philosophically) against Iran getting a nuclear weapon – hell, Israel, Pakistan, India, and others have them. And people like Donald Trump are right in saying that the prospect of Iran getting nukes probably means that Saudi Arabia and Turkey will now start trying to aggressively attain them as well. But that doesn’t mean we should actively support Iran’s effort by standing idly by and unfreezing their assets. Political and financial pressure towards moderate regime change is what the US should be working towards, not helping the most extreme kind of extremists get the keys to the nuclear kingdom.

Sad to see Texas Governor Rick Perry drop out of the race for the GOP presidential nomination but he turned out to be a lousy candidate with lousy political instincts. If he had played the long game by sticking to issues and not attacking Donald Trump’s rise in the polls so personally (a tactic Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio are taking) he might have worked his way into the top-tier down the line. I think he, Bobby Jindal (who will be next to drop out), and Scott Walker are learning a hard lesson about presidential politics: being a successful governor does not automatically make you qualified to be a player on the national stage.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 11:53 | Comments Off on Weekending


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