September 28, 2019

Been following all the so-called drama of the Ukraine phone call controversy that has the Democrats, having failed to find anything to impeach the President on resulting from the Mueller report, stepping up to the plate for a second whack at impeachment over a phone conversation between the presidents of the USA and Ukraine. Conventional wisdom has this saying that, because of the Democratic rule changes and such, Nancy Pelosi will find it easier to start impeachment hearings against the President and that, as a result, impeachment’s gonna happen.

Maybe so. But I don’t buy it.

I’m going to stick to my guns and my previous assertion that what is really going on here has little to do with national security or a perceived quid pro quo as a way for Democrats to finally find a way to remove the President from office. Oh, don’t get me wrong, the Speaker of the House is trying to carefully thread her way between her Party’s base and a rabid group of Trump-haters in Congress who are insisting the President be impeached, and a Party establishment and members of Congress who know damned well impeachment is a fool’s errand that will only result in a bloodbath at the voting booth come 2020. And one cannot forget that the Speaker has to know who’s driving the impeachment bus right now – she has to be concerned about her own job and her legacy; that if she doesn’t give impeachment at least a good-faith effort she’ll be pushed out as Speaker.

All this may be true to some extent, but to those who pay close attention to this kind of thing and have the ability to read the political tea leaves as I do, it’s pretty clear (at least to me) that all the conventional wisdom with its focus on Trump and impeachment is wrong and completely missing what’s really happening behind the scenes. And what, you might ask yourself, might that be? Simply put, this is a surgical strike by the “Clintonistas” in the Democratic Party to take out “Slo'” Joe Biden (and, as I will point out, Elizabeth “Fauxcahontus” Warren) with a surgical strike, thereby greasing the skids for Hillary’s re-entrance into the Democratic presidential race.

Don’t believe me?

Think about it for a moment, and let’s look at a few seemingly-unrelated headlines from this past week. First, of course, you have this whole Ukraine controversy. But think about it: who’s being hurt more by it? President Trump, or Joe Biden? I would argue it’s the latter, because while Democrats are using the Ukraine phone call to attack the President, folks are also seeing for the first time that damning video of Biden threatening Ukraine with the withholding of aid money if the Ukrainian prosecutor looking into corruption isn’t fired. This video is not only unflattering, it illustrates Biden’s thug-like behavior and the kind of political insider, Beltway power-politics that voters tend to reject.

Secondly, you have two stories published almost simultaneously that present the new supposed Democratic front-runner, Massachusetts senator Warren in an unflattering light: her stumbling response concerning Biden’s activities as unethical and something she wouldn’t stand for in her own presidency, and this story about Wall Street Democratic donors threatening to withhold support should Warren win the Democratic nomination.

Now why, you might ask, might these negative portrayals about both Biden and Warren come to the forefront virtually on the heels of each other? Isn’t it interesting that the very same week these stories erupted none other than Hillary Clinton announced her intention to undertake a so-called “listening tour”. For what purpose would Hillary Clinton want to do a “listening tour”? Just to get out there to meet her fans? Work behind the scenes to insert her influence into the current Democratic race? Don’t make me laugh – remember, this is exactly the same strategy Hillary employed prior to her announcing her entry into the race for US Senate in New York. What you are seeing play out here is nothing more than Clinton hard-ball 101, a power move by Hillary and her supporters in Democratic power circles and their ass-kissers in the mainstream media to destroy the Democratic front-runners so Clinton can enter the race as immediate front-runner.

Here’s my take: Hillary had no intention of running for President again. Oh, she wanted to, but she wasn’t going to risk being beaten by the likes of Joe Biden who, by all accounts, was a virtual shoo-in for the Democratic nomination and California senator Kamala Harris, who seemed at the time a strong better-than-odds replacement should Biden falter for any reason. But then Biden came stumbling out of booth and revealed himself to be nothing short of a slow-witted doofus. The Party faithful began to feel a sense of unease. Then Harris first underwhelmed, then imploded as folks got a look at what she was really like during the first two (or was it three?) Democratic candidate debates. Then Warren started her ascendancy to the top of the polls and the Party movers and shakers knew they had a looming disaster on their hands. And so the feelers went out to Hillary through the normal political backchannels, resulting in an action plan to take both Biden and Warren out.

I started to get the sense this was happening back in July with the first news items planted in left-leaning publications regarding concerns about Biden’s questionable dealings with his son in both Ukraine and China. Now you have this this whole “whistle-blower” controversy which is slowing being revealed as a well-planned event. The Dems had to know that this controversy wouldn’t just hurt Trump, but inflict maximum damage on Biden as well. And if in doing so the President and his pit bull Rudy Giuliani were employed as unwitting accomplices, all the better. At the same time, start planting similar kinds of news items questioning Warren’s ethics and ability to run a formidable campaign against Donald Trump, and voila!, hello Hillary!

Here’s what’s going to happen. In the next few weeks I expect Biden to drop out of the race, or, at the very least, become an afterthought with primary voters. He’s on a downward slide he cannot recover from (something, BTW, I told y’all when he first entered the race). I expect Clinton to enter the race no later than Thanksgiving, perhaps much sooner. Clinton’s sole reason for running will be to reverse the results of the 2016 election which she will state was stolen from her due to Russia collusion and voter suppression and voting irregularities. To underscore the latter, Clinton will name failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacy Abrams as her running mate. (Abrams, too, believes the election was stolen from her due to voting irregularities and voter suppression.)

What this strategy will allow is for Clinton to run solely on the results of the 2016 election and not her record. She’ll run a totally negative campaign against Trump and the voters who were denied Clinton’s election, avoiding completely her e-mails and other accusations about corruption and pay-for-play influence during her time as Secretary of State. Abrams’ place on the team will serve to reinforce the “stolen election” theme and focus solely on issues involving voter turnout and suppression, and the voting irregularities that both feel led to their respective defeats. I expect Abrams, not Clinton, to be the “face” of the campaign, thus allowing Clinton to work only as hard as is absolutely needed, with lots of “soft” interviews and less public appearances by Hillary. Abrams’ role will be to reinvigorate female and LGBTQ voters (thus offsetting the loss of blue-collar, white male traditional Democratic voters who have moved to Trump), stanch the slow but steady drift of African-American voters to Trump.

Because – unless there’s a drastic change between now and the next 6-8 months – Trump’s record on the economy will preclude the kind of “are you better off now than four years ago” kind of campaign. Instead, this will be a presidential campaign run completely on identity politics – battle royale “war of the sexes”. Expect the Supreme Court to be a major topic of discussion, with Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s health (or replacement) and the Kavanaugh hearings to be front and center. As such, this will be perhaps the ugliest, most negative presidential campaign in American history. With both candidates highly polarizing figures, there will be few undecideds right from the start, and it will be all about turnout, turnout, and turnout. Will it work for the Democrats? I doubt it – Trump will have a record to run on and he’s done (or is doing) everything he promised he would do in 2016.

…but at this point I think it’s the Democrats’ best chance to defeat Trump in 2020. At the very least, it ought to make for riveting coverage. One thing I’m certain of – it’s gonna happen. Mark my words.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 15:55 | Comments (0)
September 26, 2019

Some thoughts and items after a night of thunderstorms rolling through to the tune of another 1/2″ of rain on top of the 2″ we got just the other day. Thank you (former) Hurricane Lorena!

I love this man. Truer words were never spoken.

..and this is especially true watching that teenaged Swedish twit lecturing the United Nations for “stealing her dreams and her childhood” because of climate change. Unadulterated bullshit from a bullshit artist. Look, it makes me uneasy to be calling a teenager an idiot, but she’s the one who has inserted herself as the vocal proponent of the “green movement”, and therefore she’s fair game. Being dumb, stupid and a tool for others is no way to go through life.

It’s stuff like this that makes me so despise the mainstream media these days. They’re so dishonest in their blind hatred of Trump they seek to take everything at face value instead of recognizing that he’s speaking figuratively. Of course they know that, they’re just being assholes.

I guess Seminary is not what I remember it being. It’s no wonder the Protestant faith in the US is disappearing before our very eyes. And I guarantee the faculty is primary liberal and feminist. Call me what you want, but by and large it’s the gays and the feminists are totally responsible for destroying Protestantism in the West. And it has all been deliberate and Satanic in nature.

Of course it’s still waaaaay to early in the 2020 presidential election cycle, but this article pretty much sums up my thinking assuming all things stay status quo (which they won’t):

In the end, Trump is the guy the Democratic presidential nominee must face once the primary season is over. Trump and the GOP will probably raise about $2 billion during the 2020 cycle, the largest campaign war chest in the history of American politics. Nor will Trump be hesitant to carpet-bomb his opponent when the time comes. Indeed, his campaign has already started dropping its payload on Biden with this video. If Warren overtakes Biden, she will be the next target. Neither Biden nor Warren is ready for a fight with Trump. The former doesn’t have the stamina, the latter’s support isn’t deep enough, and both are out of touch with the voters.

Recalling this post I’m more convinced than ever that Hillary Clinton is once again going to be the Democratic nominee and she’ll get trounced even worse than she did in 2016. By playing the role of Democratic sacrificial lamb she’ll give the Party a chance to reevaluate what they want to be come 2024.

This is priceless. The funny thing is that I could see my mom and dad as that elderly couple, just doing their thing and not even noticing what’s going on around them.

Want another reason why The Beach Boys were unparalleled in their ability to harmonize in incredible funky ways? Here’s the intro number to 1970’s Sunflower album, “Slip On Through” with a fine Dennis Wilson lead. But check out just how intricate and dreamy the background vocals are behind Dennis’ lead. I’m guessing that Brian Wilson’s then-wife Marilyn and her sister Diane are part of the vocal mix because it’s just so unusual and sensual.

Fifty years on this is such a friggin’ great song. And to think it’s nothing but bass, piano, guitar and drums, nothing fancy. Just the best rock band God ever created doing its thing. (BTW, lots of people just assume it’s Paul banging away on the piano, but believe it or not it’s John.)

..speaking more of The Beatles, this is a fascinating analysis of George Harrison’s guitar solos on “Let It Be”. The single version (produced by George Martin) features George’s Fender run through a Leslie speaker and is somewhat more restrained than the one he would create for the Phil Spector-produced version on the Let It Be album. Personally, I found Harrison’s solo on the album version positively riveting – it just leaps out of the speakers and is one of the finest guitar solos you’ll ever hear on any song, anywhere.

…so this past Goodboys weekend I had to suffer through a Goodboys dickhead (and you Goodboys know who I’m talking about) bullshitting me that The Beatles were a pop band, not a rock band. Oh yeah? Listen to this, this, and this, dickhead. Anyone who knows anything about music can tell you that The Beatles (at least in terms of rock music) were their own music genre. You can’t them peg them as anything but the greatest band of all time whose volume of work will never be equaled in any terms. But ignorance is bliss.

Continuing on my Bee Gees kick, two drop-dead gorgeous ballads, “My World” and “Run To Me”. I just love the Brother’s Gibbs’ harmonies – unlike The Beach Boys’, they’re actually very simple and sing-able. In a very short while, Robin Gibb has become one of my all-time favorite vocalists. And Maurice’s near-impossible, stratospherically-high falsetto is just fun to try and replicate as you sing along.

…if you don’t doubt me, just listen to Maurice’s harmony on the wordless “la la la” section of this song (it’s after the second verse). Can you hear it? Can you sing it? It’s at the very top of my range, I can tell you that!

Best recession ever. I can tell you that we just finished a refi on our house to grab some equity as a result of the steady increase of our home value, at a rate even less than we did four years ago. That’s real, not some bullshit narrative being pushed out by the Democrats and their political operatives in the media. And I’m sure we’re not the only ones.

…the Democrats not only are playing a losing hand with impeachment and Trump hatred, but they’re continuing to throw money into the pot foolishly. Take the liberals, Democrats, and progressives together – if your hatred for Trump is the best you’ve got, don’t blame me if you get slaughtered in 2020. To be truthfully honest, I’m surprised Nancy Pelosi is allowing this to happen. I thought she was better and a more disciplined politician than that.

Trump’s no dummy, of course. While the Democrats are flailing around on impeachment – something that will last at best a year – Trump is remaking the nation’s judiciary in a way that will last decades. So who’s the smartest person in the room again?

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 02:12 | Comments (0)
September 23, 2019

This is just a damned fine piece of rock and roll. I always loved the song and have always been especially fond of just how tight the band played during this live performance. Never mind the fact that I always thought Burton Cummings was a better singer than Jim Morrison (an argument that got me and a workmate thrown out of a bar in Chicago one night!), this is clearly one tight damned combo! Kurt Winter (RIP) is just one of my all-time favorite guitarists. Love the lyrics, reminds of a girl I knew way back when:

Well, I never been much for admitting things
That’s why it’s all so hard to say
That I’m head over heels in love with your kind of insanity
And if it please your highness on a sunny day sometime
Can I take your picture in the park with silk and satin oh?

Star baby
Flashy little shiny little two timin’ mama singin’
Star baby
Shiny little flashy little lovin’ machine

I’ve never been much good at keepin’ a secret
Now it’s easy for me to say
That I’m head over heels shook up about the way that you fool with me
And if it please your highness on a sunny day sometime
Can you take me riding babe I’ll tell you what I’m thinkin’ ’bout you

Star baby
Flashy little shiny little two timin’ mama singin’
Star baby
Flashy little shiny little lovin’ machine

Well I saw you last night on a Hollywood show
And now it’s easy for me to say
That I’m head over heels shook up about the way that you sang to me
And if it please your highness on a sunny day sometime
Can you take me drivin’ maybe kissin’ in your Cadillac

Star baby
Flashy little shiny little two timin’ mama singin’
Star baby
Flashy little shiny little lovin’ machine
Star Baby
Star Baby
Flashy little shiny little lovin’ machine
Star Baby

That’s what rock and roll was like at one time – just a joyful piece of mess about chicks and having a good time. Here’s another example of just how good this edition of the Guess Who was. Still remember how listening to this song ten times in a row back in 1978 gave me the courage to break up with my girlfriend at the time. Because, for better or for worse, it’s all about the chicks, right?

And around this time of year, when the sun angle and the sunsets start turning a little autumnal, for some reason I always get this tune, this tune, and this tune in my head. They’re both great – like they called it at the time, “Wheatfield Soul”.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 23:51 | Comments (0)
September 21, 2019

Oh it hasn’t happened yet, but as I’ve been predicting for a long time now, the knives have been officially unsheathed in the direction of “Slo’ Joe” Biden’s candidacy for the Democratic nomination. I’ve been waiting to see how this whole thing would ultimately unfold, so as soon as I heard that the story of the so-called “whistle-blower” involved President Trump’s phone conversation with the president of Ukraine, boy, did my ears perk up. Oh sure, the angle that you’re getting from the usual suspects – CNN, MSNBC, NPR, etc. etc. – all focus on the President and his supposed recklessness, corruption, and/or incompetence, but the story is already starting to evolve into Joe Biden’s shakedown of Ukrainian officials on behalf of his son, Hunter.

What the media won’t tell you are the facts as laid out by Sundance at The Conservative Treehouse:

The government of Ukraine under both Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, and now President Volodymyr Zelensky, had been trying to deliver information about Obama officials and Democrat party officials (DNC on behalf of Hillary Clinton) requesting the government of Ukraine to interfere in the 2016 election.

Both Poroshenko and Zelensky administrations had tried, unsuccessfully, to get information to current U.S. officials. U.S. State Department officials in Ukraine were refusing to give visa’s to Ukrainian emissaries because they did not want the damaging information sent to the President Trump administration.

Failing to get help from the U.S. State Department, the Ukranians tried a workaround, and hired a respected U.S. lawyer to hand deliver the documentary evidence directly to the U.S. Department of Justice. The contracted American lawyer hand-delivered the information to the U.S. Department of Justice in New York.

However, after delivering the information and not hearing back from the U.S. government, the Ukrainian government, now led by President Zelensky, interpreted the silence as the Trump administration and U.S. government (writ large) being upset about the Ukraine involvement overall. Out of concern for a serious diplomatic breakdown, the Zelensky administration made a personal request to the U.S. State Department for assistance.

The U.S. State Department then reached out to Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani; and asked him if he would meet with Zelensky’s top lawyer, Andrei Yermak.

Rudy Giuliani agreed to act as a diplomatic intermediary and met with Yermak in Spain. After the meeting, Mr. Giuliani then contacted the State Department Officials in charge of Ukraine and Europe and debriefed them on the totality of the subject matter as relayed by Andrei Yermak.

All of this activity preceded the phone call between U.S. President Donald Trump and Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

President Trump and President Zelensky discussed the issues, and this phone call is the one now referenced by the concerned “whistleblower”. The “whistleblower” obviously had no knowledge of the background and why the subject matter discussed in the phone call was framed as it was.

Apparently in the phone call, President Zelensky was explaining what action the Ukranian government had already taken to try and get the information about corrupt U.S. officials, including former VP Joe Biden, to the U.S. government.

It was from this clarification of information that President Trump is reported to have told Zelensky it was OK to proceed with any internal investigation of corruption in Ukraine that might also encompass former U.S. officials. Yes, that would include Joe Biden.

From this context we can see how the “whistle-blower”, knowing only half of the information – might incorrectly perceive the conversation. Additionally, there’s a possibility the “whistle-blower” may be ideologically aligned with the same government entities that were trying to block the Ukrainian government from delivering the information in the first place.

What I find most interesting about this story is not the story itself, nor even how it appeared when it did. What’s most interesting to me is – and I think I know the answer already – is to whom the allegiances of this so-called “whistle-blower” truly belong. I know this is all going to sound like a conspiracy theory (but who doesn’t like a good old-fashioned conspiracy theory every now and then?), but I’m guessing whomever the “whistle-blower” is, their allegiance is to none other than Hillary Clinton.

Posh, you say? Well, consider the following scenario: Let’s say you’re a member of the Democratic Party power structure. Your only goal is to field the candidate who can beat Donald Trump in 2020. And let’s say you agreed with the conventional wisdom that Joe Biden, between his Barack Obama VP experience and his much-heralded “blue-collar background” and ability to connect with the all-important “Rust Belt” voter, would be the Democrats’ best chance for 2020. And let’s say that, while you might agree whole-heartedly with the progressive sentiments of the rest of the Democratic field of candidates, you’re well aware that there’s no way in hell any of them could go toe-to-toe with Donald Trump in a general election and come out on top – at best, any of them would make a fine VP choice for Biden.

But six months in you’ve seen Biden not for what his reputation is, but for as he is on the campaign stump: a flat-footed, gaffe-prone doofus with all the persuasive abilities of some back-lot used-car salesman, totally bad news, completely incapable of articulating anything clearly. While certainly it’s early in the game, all you can think of is how the guy is going to handle the rigors of a presidential campaign. The alarm bells are now going off bigly, because you look at the rest of the field the same way a baseball GM looks at his minor league organization. The primaries are only five months away and you’re afraid there won’t be one single candidate Democrats will rally behind, resulting in the nightmare scenario of no one having enough delegates to win the nomination and a brokered convention.

And that’s where Hillary Clinton comes in. Who do you think would benefit more from Joe Biden’s collapse? And don’t think it’s not beneath the Clinton machine’s power and influence in Democratic circles to find a way to nudge Biden to the wings when he clearly can’t see what others are able to clearly see. So my conspiracy theory is that the Party movers and shakers have decided that Biden has to go, gracefully or not, and that this whole “whistle-blower” thing was planted from the outset to highlight Biden’s shake-down with Ukraine, knowing that the media would run with it as yet another example of Donald Trump’s incompetence or White House corruption. When you think of it, it’s classic Clinton.

So it wouldn’t surprise me in the coming weeks to see Joe Biden drop out of the race for “health reasons”, leading to an increasing call for Hillary to inject herself back into the race. You know damned well that she would be the odds-on favorite to get the nomination almost immediately – the stories are already being planted out there. Heck, I can almost write her speech announcing her entry into the race for the Democratic nomination, admitting she made mistakes during the 2016 campaign that are not going to be repeated again, that she considers that campaign a “growing and learning experience”, and that being humbled (I know, you’re almost ready to barf) makes her best-suited for another shot at Donald Trump.

Mark my words, it’s gonna happen.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 01:10 | Comments (0)
September 20, 2019

…and just like that our last day of 100-degree temperatures is gone. The highs the next week? 97-95-97-85-88-91-91-93. More importantly, at least as far as the pool is concerned, the lows 68-69-73-71-69-69-69-70, meaning the pool temperature, which just a couple of weeks ago was still hanging around 90, will crash into non–swimmingness. Last year we made it to the 29th of September as the last triple-digit day. Tonight, we’ve got our French doors wide open on the patio, and the air conditioning feels no need to click itself on. It’s not Arizona winter yet – that will come in a few weeks when the 90s melt away into the 80s and 70s – but not too many people are going to mourn the end of triple-digits and tonight feels mighty fine.

I have some Cruzan Hurricane rum – 137-proof “Strong enough to weather any storm” the saying goes, and I’ll enjoy a finger of it with an ice cube under happy pineapple lights on the back patio. Carmelo told me to stop watering the grass today so he can buzz the front, side, and back yards like a number-one buzz in two weeks and seed the winter rye. I listened to him today with glazed-over eyes: work has been an absolute bear this week, a string of 12-hour days starting at 6 AM and ending somewhere near 7 PM and I’m mentally and physically exhausted. Another year, another summer gone here in the Valley of the Sun, and I can’t help but think the whole year has been an absolute waste, creatively, emotionally, and physically, with really nothing to show for it except me just getting older, like Brian Wilson sings on the last Beach Boys song on their final original release:

Summer’s gone
Summer’s gone away
Gone away
With yesterday

Old friends have gone
They’ve gone their separate ways
Our dreams hold on
For those who still have more to say

Summer’s gone
Gone like yesterday
The nights grow cold
It’s time to go
I’m thinking maybe I’ll just change (stay)

…another summer’s gone.

Summer’s gone
It’s finally sinking in
One day begins
Another ends
I live them all and back again

Summer’s gone
It’s finally sinking in
One day begins
Another ends
I live them all and back again

Summer’s gone
I’m gonna sit and watch the waves
We laugh, we cry
We live then die
And dream about our yesterday

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:25 | Comments (0)
September 19, 2019

It’s mid-September and time is running out on our monsoon season which has been a total bust here in the Valley of the Sun. We’ve only two weeks left, and we’ve gotten our hopes up so many times about meaningful storms and rain only to have them dashed time and again. So excuse me if I don’t get my hopes too high for a possible major rain event come early next week. The good thing is, today looks like the last day of triple-digit highs, which would be a little bit earlier than usual!

…wish I felt like playing golf, but to be brutally honest, I think I’m gonna put my game on hold indefinitely. Right now, it’s just much work for what you get out of it, and the desire is just not there. We’ll see…

I’m eagerly waiting for Weatherbell.com‘s winter forecast to see if the early snow they’ve gotten in the Sierra Nevadas is a harbinger of things good and wet to come.

I’ll be damned if I’m going to be lectured by some smart alecky, snot-nosed teenager about climate change. What I feel bad about is not what’s happening to the planet – the planet will be just fine – is a veritable child being used as a tool by politicians and activists who care nothing about the planet; they’re just using that – and her – as an excuse to implement their goal for planet-wide socialism and massive wealth redistribution. If you don’t believe me, just check out their impeccable record of successful predictions.

Here’s another couple of damned fine Bee Gees tunes: this lovely ballad from “Main Course”, and this gorgeous up-tempo track from “One”.

Why does it always seem that Democrats’ desire for so-called “fairness” always ends up screwing the little people in the end?

No surprise that the high and mighty of Boston’s sports reporters are all over the New England Patriots for keeping Antonio Brown on the roster in the face of rape allegations. Of course, Eric Willbur has always been a self-righteous twit, but, silly, me, I always thought in this country you were innocent until proven guilty. But that’s not the way the liberal, self-righteous sports media (and Boston’s are amongst the worst) look at things.

…of course, the same holds true for the non-sports media. That whole New York Times hit piece on Brett Kavanuagh was just a disgrace. If I’m Kavanaugh I’m gonna try and bleed them dry with a defamation lawsuit that would make their heads spin. Doubt he would win, but I guarantee it would take a little starch out of the wallets of these elitist bastards who think the rights of a free press gives them the right to assassinate the character of people they disagree with politically.

You know why I think they’re coming after Kavanaugh like this? At this point in time? Because they know Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg isn’t going to be around much longer and they’re steeling their forces for the mother of all Supreme Court confirmation hearings. They know whomever Trump nominates is going to be confirmed (after all, the GOP holds the Senate, so they’re trying to intimidate Judge Kavanaugh into a more centrist point of view judicially. Make no mistake about it: these people are a bunch of vile pigs.

This is the biggest story you’ll never hear about on CNN or MSNBC. The guy is one bad dude, a LGBTQ activist/ pervert / sexual predator in whose house two black men were found dead; someone who, BTW, is a significant player in California political liberal circles, someone who is anything but a stranger to the likes of Hillary Clinton and Democrat congressmen Adam “Shifty” Schiff and Ted “Loser” Lieu.

Run, Fauxcahontus, run! Win, Fauxcahontus win! As a commenter on this tweet said, “She’s going to remind every divorced man of their ex wife”. Personally – and I’m 100 honest on this – were I a Democrat Warren would be my first choice for the Party’s nomination. Not because she’s not a fraud (she is), but her political positions espouse everything a Democrat / liberal / progressive would want to see representing their views most authentically. Think about it: “Slo’ Joe” Biden is a fool, a veritable ignoramus with a greasy, used-car salesman grin, Bernie Sanders’ is beyond fool, “Beto” O’Roarke is a clown, Kamala Harris’ candidacy is toast – the more people saw her, the more she revealed herself to be nothing more than ambitious, opportunistic bitch, and the rest of the Democratic clown-car candidates have no business being on a presidential debate podium. Worthy, perhaps, of a VP choice for the purposes of identity politics, but nothing more than that.

Hey, let’s play the “tolerance, acceptance, and diversity game”. Which supposed “outcasts” in their respective communities are going to receive the most tolerance and acceptance? Two gay dudes who are unequivocal Trump supporters, by Republicans and conservatives, or two black women unequivocal in their support for the President, by Democrats and liberals? I think you know the answer.

…and if you’re a duly-elected Democratic senator who happens to be both hot (well, at least for a U.S. Senator) and her own person, heaven help you. I’ll say it again: liberals and progressives are most angry, intolerant and nasty people that God ever put on this earth. They deserve to be crushed into itty-bitty morsels of

Just one more reason to applaud President Trump’s decision to cut ties with his National Security Advisor John Bolton. Personally, I respect the guy’s knowledge but am dismayed to see him reveal himself for such a petty turncoat. Between Bolton and Lindsey Graham, they reflect a Beltway world-view that never met it a war it didn’t like and never thought twice about spilling American blood for the purposes of their own self-interests and nation-building agendas.

Reading Red Sox manager Alex Cora’s comments after his team’s loss to the Giants, it occurs to me that most of what he’s talking about is the fact that this year’s edition of the Sox didn’t get the most of their overall talent. Earth to Cora: that’s your job, dude! My recommendation is that you spend this winter thinking long and hard about what a manager’s role is, because you’re on track to be the first one fired in 2020 if your team doesn’t break out of the gate fast.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:30 | Comments (0)
September 14, 2019

Man walks into a bar. Says to the bartender, “I want something tall, cold, and full of gin. Bartender looks back at him and says, “Leave my wife out of this!”

I’ll tell you: the books of John D. MacDonald never disappoint. Sure, they’re dark and cynical in their portrayal of life as lived by the suburban class in the late fifties / early sixties: the quiet desperation exemplified in Peggy Lee’s “Is That All There Is?”, the sense of life moving too fast with the inevitable questions of whys and hows, afraid of what the answers might be. In MacDonald’s novels, his characters work too hard and drink too much behind a façade of nice homes, well-manicured lawns, and the struggle for identity and meaning in a post-war world where life is cheap and the struggle for finding some kind of existential meaning in life is both omnipresent and foreboding. I’m currently reading “Cancel All Our Vows” (the joke above is from that novel). It really is great stuff.

Holy crap, it looks more and more like there’s no way “Slo’ Joe” Biden is gonna make it into the primaries. Sure, it’s bad enough when Biden makes gaffes like Forty killed at Kent State – even the most clueless moron would have known it was only four, courtesy of Crosby Stills, Nash, and Young (heck, it’s in the friggin’ lyrics!). Keene, New Hampshire in Vermont? Admitting his public health care proposal would not be quality? And then at last night’s Democratic debate, bumbling and blustering his way through incoherent answers and disconnected thoughts including, of all things, record players. “Record players”? Hey Joe, how ’bout some Tang or Tab to wash those records down with?

…no wonder even that bastion of liberalism – Rolling Stone – says enough is enough. Liberals might detest Donald Trump, but there has to be an increasing sense that if it’s Biden, Trump will carve him up like a Sunday roast. Better, then, to pick a candidate who libs and progressives can rally around who’s not some senile, doddering swamp creature completely incapable of speaking intelligently on his feet.

Speaking of Delaware senators, while I admit to not having much in common with Biden’s permanent successor Chris Coons, he’s spot-on in saying that “Beto” O’Rourke’s bold statement about confiscating AK-47s and AR-15s at Thursday night’s Democratic debate is going to come back to haunt the Party – not just in 2020 but for years to come. Sure, Beto’s obvious pandering to anti-gun advocates might work in liberal bastions like California, Seattle, and Portland, Oregon, but national elections are won in swing states chock full of – you guessed it – law-abiding gun owners. If you didn’t catch the debate and hear O’Roarke’s actual words, don’t worry: they’ll replayed a thousand times over the next year in places like New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota long after Beto’s shelf life has expired.

…and after last night Beto can kiss any thoughts he might have had about challenging Texas senator John Cornyn adios. What a moron.

Still on a Bee Gees kick. So which version of “Come On Over” do you like better: the Bee Gees’, or Olivia Newton-John’s? Considering that ONJ’s rendition is one of my top-ten favorites of hers, I gotta go with that. But the gospel/country-flavored version by the Brothers Gibb isn’t bad at all, albeit a little plodding for my taste. After all, you can’t keep a good song down.

Just another example of why I happen to think transgenders are unstable individuals and wackos. Look – again — I could care less what you do in your own life or bedroom, but if your own perversions and sexual deviancies prevent you from acting in a civil manner to people, you need your friggin’ head examined. You folks are sick, and the sooner you admit you have a problem the better off we’ll all be.

So a new PGA TOUR season is upon us. Tried to watch a little of the inaugural Greenbrier event on Friday night but I have to admit I’m still feeling pretty burned out when it comes to golf. Just too mentally and physically drained. I do have to wash all that Massachusetts dirt left over from Goodboys weekend off my clubs and plan on doing that this weekend, but as far as playing goes I may take me a longer sabbatical than originally planned. Frankly, the idea of even hitting balls makes me want to barf.

I know it’s early, but you want to know my sleeper state to turn “red” in 2020? Connecticut. Laugh all you want, but remember you heard it here first.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:30 | Comments (0)
September 11, 2019

Never forget. May God continue to comfort and fill with strength those who died eighteen years ago on that awful day. Hard to fathom that the infants on those flights and in those buildings – and there were a number of them – would have completed or been near completing high school by now. Such a waste of human potential by a bunch of monsters.

Never forget. I truly believe it was an act of divine intervention that Hillary Clinton never became President of the United States. Donald Trump might be brash and obnoxious, but he doesn’t have the blood on his hands that that reprehensible, vile, corrupt, and evil bitch does.

What liberalism is all about. Coming soon to your Democratic-led state, city, and town. Because, y’know, it’s all about the planet.

I already mentioned in prior posts two great Bee Gees song, “Nights on Broadway” and “I Gotta Get A Message To You”. Here are a couple more, one from their pre-disco era, one from afterwards. I have fond memories of “How Can You Mend…” — my Mom singing the harmonies when the song came on the radio while we were driving on our last family vacation to Niagara Falls.

As usual, Kurt Schlichter hits the nail on the head, this time about climate change:

Observing that “climate change” is steaming garbage served in a dirty ashtray is not disputing that the climate changes. That the climate is not static, and never could be static, is one of the myriad reasons that this whole idea is ridiculous. The planet gets hotter, it gets colder, sometimes quickly, sometimes over eons, and there are a bunch of reasons why, like the sun and volcanos. Human-produced carbon might be one of the factors, but there’s simply no evidence that it is a significant one. Of course, if they really cared about carbon, they would be up in arms about China and India, which are upping their output while we are slashing ours. Yet the object of their ire is your New York strip. Gosh, does that seem consistent with 1) someone truly concerned about atmospheric carbon, or 2) someone who trembles with joy at the notion of bossing around you rubes out in gun/Jesusland?

The underlying premise of their claims seems to be that there is a “right” temperature for the earth; watch them sputter when you enquire about that perfect setting for Earth’s thermostat. Remember, if you ask questions you hate “science.” If they did stop telling you how you hate “science” long enough to respond, they might explain that of course there’s no perfect temperature – it’s not like LA, where it’s always 72 degrees.

Here’s my question: so climate change activists like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tell us that we’ve only got a dozen years or so to “fix the planet”. If that’s the case, then why are they worrying so much about needing to pack the Supreme Court or take our guns? If for all intents and purposes we as a species are on the equivalent of life support, why would liberals care about what might happen after Trump’s second term when our existence is down to single digits in years? The truth is, George Carlin was absolutely right about us being nothing more than an invasive species that the earth will take care of in its own good time. Glad I won’t be around to see it.

I’ll say this about Ringo Starr: he’s no Paul McCartney. And I mean that as a compliment.

But of course they did. After all, when it comes to liberals and their communist/socialist fixations, what’s twenty or thirty million lives between friends?

Emerald Robinson speaks truth to power – this case the powerful LGBTQ activists who pummel the mainstream media with their agenda-driven sob stories on a daily basis. Spare me. These transgender / queer activists are soulless and sick in the head, prisoners of their own sick and perverted image of themselves and sexuality in general, and not worthy of all the fawning coverage they get. Personally, I don’t care what you are or what you do in terms of sexual preference – it’s none of my business – but keep it to yourself and out of my face, and most especially, the faces of our nation’s children.

A Great White Shank political rule of thumb: whatever Mitt Romney is for, I’m against. And vice-versa. The guy has the political chops of an idiot. I might despise progressive politics, but I hate the politics of neocons even like Romney even more. All these people do is get us into needless wars and global intrigues we have no business messing with.

Excellent news. One more down, millions left to go. Sorry, I have little sympathy towards illegals, and I don’t care how old or young they are. You want to emigrate to this country? C’mon in, but do it the right way. Take your place in line and make it a worthwhile venture in your life. Starting your American experience as a criminal shows how little regard for this country and its laws you have. You get what you deserve.

Agreed. You know damned well that if the Dems had won NC-09 it would be all over the mainstream media that Trump’s in trouble, the Republicans are in trouble, and on and on and on. Obviously, Trump’s visit helped and shows he’s got some great coattails, and on social media tonight the Dems are whining, complaining, and calling all Trump voters stupid or racists (say, where have I heard that before???). Their anguish brings me joy.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 02:09 | Comments (0)
September 9, 2019

This year’s monsoon season has been quite the bust here in the Valley of the Sun, and no one seems to know what to make of it. Normally you’ll get your share of dust storms and hopefully some rain from thunderstorms – where I live has always seemed to have a protective dome over it, causing the storms to move south and north of us – but this year there has been a dearth of both. Just lots of very hot weather. Not sure if this is related to the fading El Nino or not, but I’ll tell you, I’m ready for some fall weather, even if that means it drops to the 90s. This 108+ sh*t is getting kinda old.

The firing of Red Sox GM Dave Dombrowski means one thing and one thing only: the manager on the hottest seat starting next year is going to be Alex Cora. Sure, he and Dombrowski pulled all the right strings last year, but both of them have been lackluster in their handling of the 2019 season. Dombrowski made some bad signings and made the obvious mistake of thinking the club could get by without a bona fide closer, for sure, but Cora’s team has been listless at times, horrendous in fundamentals (most especially when it comes to baserunning) and he looks out of his league out there. The Sox better come out of the gates hot in 2020 or Cora will be among the season’s first casualties.

…along those same lines, I have to believe Mookie Betts is going to be traded in the offseason. For one thing, his offense has been replaced by the emergence of third baseman Rafael Devers; more importantly, the Sox need to replenish their minor leagues as a result o Dombrowski’s moves over the past couple of years. The trick will be to find a team whose minor league talent matches their willingness to pay someone like Betts, who doesn’t seem to have any desire to be tied down to any particular organization.

I have to tell you, I’ve really gotten into the music of the Bee Gees lately. Not sure how it started, actually – I’ve always liked their music but never really felt the need to take a deep dive into their catalog. But one night I was trolling YouTube and came across “I’ve Gotta Get A Message To you” and “Nights On Broadway” – two great songs by any measure – and watched a documentary on them that I found positively fascinating. Then I listened to several tracks from two of their pre-disco era, Odessa and Trafalgar, and a couple from their post-disco years, especially One, and I was hooked. Most folks will recognize Barry Gibb’s vocals, but I find Robin Gibb’s voice particular fascinating in its kind of theatrical vulnerability.

Great post over at Ace of Spades on the folk music split that occurred in 1965 when Dylan went electric at the Newport Folk Festival. The whole thing is still kind of akin to something apocryphal in nature, but the fact was, Bob didn’t feel like being pigeon-holed into the “folk” thing espoused by the likes of Joan Baez and Pete Seeger; he wanted to be his own artist and explore where he could go, and, being true leftists, they never really forgave him for it. As OregonMuse writes in his post:

I don’t think the definitive book has been written on the early folkies all being a bunch of rat bastard commies. The closest is probably Commies: “A Journey Through the Old Left, the New Left and the Leftover Left” by Ron Radosh, now OOP.

I never really took Seeger, Baez, Buffy St. Marie, and all those folkies seriously. I thought they were a bunch of frauds and still do. Because they’re leftists, and whether they’re musicians, or politicians, or climate-change activists, they’re all just a bunch of hypocrites. Others in that genre at the time, like Gordon Lightfoot and Joni Mitchell, their politics aside, always seemed to me to have a little more gravitas and creativity.

Hard to know what to make of what’s going on in Hong Kong recently, but I have to believe President Trump is a looming large presence in the background. Anyone who thinks China is holding the upper hand here doesn’t understand the sea change being brought by a president who is willing to roll the dice to reverse decades of Chinese chicanery in monetary policy and trade. They really don’t know what to make of Trump because he’s unlike anyone in American politics they’ve ever dealt with. Unlike the presidents of the past going back to Bill Clinton, Trump isn’t willing to take bribes or favors on behalf of China’s global interests. You know they’d love to see a Democrat win in 2020, but even they have to see that the current slate of Democratic challengers is not going to get that job done. So they’re in a funk.

Rot in hell, Robert Mugabe. If there was ever an argument to be made for a return to colonialism, the kind of teapot despot Mugabe was its poster-child. He was a corrupt, immoral thug – the kind the Brits back in the day would have led out to the main entrance into town and strung up for all to see. It’s an unfortunate thing that this kind of thing is happening all over Africa, a continent that, outside of precious few instances, seems utterly incapable of managing itself in any kind of moral and competent way without foreign intervention and humanitarian aid. You look at what’s going on in places like South Africa and Zimbabwe and it’s just disgraceful that the United Nations does nothing about it.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 02:37 | Comments (0)
September 7, 2019

Pardon the pause in blogging, but the few weeks have been especially long and stressful at work and I just haven’t felt like hitting the home computer to blog after long days at the computer in the office next door. Whether it’s because of work and days beginning with crisis calls at 6 or 7 AM (never a good way to start anyone’s day!), or the fact that we’ve had some really expensive car issues to the tune of nearly $4K when we’re supposed to be saving for retirement, I’ve just been struggling with thinking too much about too many things and getting caught up in worrying too much about what ought to be happening at this point in my life instead of dealing rationally with what is happening.

It’s been hard not to, I suppose, with all the rumors of big organizational changes coming at work and whether I’ll even have a job by the end of the year, but at some point you have to take stock in what you have and what is precious to you and figure out what to do with the staggering amount of bullshit you’ve allowed yourself to be consumed with inwardly. Two weeks ago I had to be talked out of resigning my position at work by my boss’s boss after an incident where I was publicly slammed by one of our VPs for something I wasn’t even involved in (a case of mistaken identity) without any kind of apology afterwards. And then there was the whole Goodboys thing I blogged about last month: the same day I offered up my resignation at work I decided that I was done with Goodboys as well. I had my resignation letter to the Nation all ready to go and was ready to hit the “Send” button when something told me this kind of momentous decision ought to be slept on before acting on it.

So the next day comes and I’ve got other bigwigs apologizing to me for the dickhead VP and them saying how good a job I’m doing and all that bullshit, so I decided to put my resignation and my Goodboys resignation on hold as well. And then the after-thought. What was I trying to do? What kind of statement was I trying to make? And so there was this whole inner crisis thing going on – something, I guess, that has been going on to one degree or another since my Mom’s passing more than three years ago. I’d been adrift in a way since then, that sense only exacerbated in the past year with being put on blood pressure medication, then having the cough and the damned lung nodules, then the severe anemia and the iron infusions and the office visits at the cancer hospital which only further remind you of your own mortality and how fragile life is and how old you’re getting.

I’ve been working my way through the works of John D. MacDonald, known for his books about ordinary people living lives of quiet desperation in an uncaring, hostile world of real state hucksters, corruption, environmental destruction, and societal/cultural changes, primarily in Florida but elsewhere as well. I’d been reading his Contrary Pleasure, about a family in upstate New York who owned and operated a textile mill whose existence was being threatened by a hostile takeover. Following the suicide of his brother, the head of the family decides not to sell, realizing that the mill is his life and that, win or lose, he would either see the company’s success or demise on his own terms instead of allowing others to make his future for him. For as long as he could remember, he too had been asking the same big questions; in the end it all came down to the same basic fundamentals:

You work because you work. You do your job because you do your job. Without sword or mission or grail. And the clan rides your shoulders. Full of a ridiculous, trusting confidence in you. Knowing that their world cannot change.

And in reading that passage, a light suddenly went on and the clouds that were in my head gradually gave way to an acceptance about who I am and where I am.

The fact is, I am growing older – older than I ever imagined myself ever being. My youngest brother Mark is gone, long gone, by suicide. My mother is gone, and so too her sister and my favorite aunt, Auntie Marge. The remains of what I once knew as “family” is scattered across the country. Sure, there are the occasional calls with my brother Dave and regular calls and semi-regular visits with my Dad, but otherwise the once-strong and intimate family connections are now held together only through the occasional call and text. I still have close, long-time friends of forty years like Paul and Ben, and, for more than three decades, Killer and Dog. All of whom are more like brothers to me than anything else. And there are my Goodboys friends like Goose, Cubby, and Skeeta who help maintain my Goodboys (and Massachusetts) connections. Most importantly, I’m loved by a wonderful wife and a sister-in-law who bring both color and meaning to my life.

But, sitting in the sanctuary of my back patio under happy pineapple lights next to the Tiki bar and listening to palm tree branches rustling in the breeze under a half-moon, I realize this is what it is and the way it is. And I’m the person I am with all the joys, sadness, and regrets of a life that has brought me to where I sit for better or for worse. And I realize I’m damned blessed to have the things and friends and family around me that I do. I work because I work. I do my job because I do my job. I’m a Goodboy because I helped create this damned thing called Goodboys and a Goodboy I will always be, until my end or its end, whichever comes first. And I do so without sword or mission or grail. And the clan (in their various forms) rides my shoulders. Full of a ridiculous, trusting confidence in me.

I know now that you can’t live your life in fear of what might come and whether or how you’ll handle it when it does come. That’s not living, that’s being imprisoned inside yourself and condemned to a life of waiting and apprehension. Wake up in the morning and wonder if this will be your last day on earth. Wonder where that sharp pain in your side or back or chest came from, and if that’s the first sign of something truly bad. I know now that I can’t live like that. That doesn’t mean that I can’t have strong opinions about things or choose to avoid dick-heads who exist in my circle of work and play, but I also have to realize that you can’t wipe clean relationships and friendships simply because there may be a dick-head lurking amongst you.

Most importantly, I think I’ve come to a realization that whatever happens is going to happen and if I go it alone it will only be because it is my choosing to do so. Life is far better lived amongst family and friends.

So I’m back blogging again and hopefully will be back to posting things of far lesser consequence, like golf, politics, and which is the better Bee Gees song, “Nights on Broadway”, or “I’ve Gotta Get A Message To You”.

..and thanks, Beach Boys, for the title of this post. That’s a damned fine song as well.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 23:22 | Comments (2)

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