Tag Archives: GOP

Time To Step Down, Mike Pence.

A vendor flies the confederate flag prior to a Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump rally in Pittsburgh, June 11, 2016. REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk - RTX2FOT5

trump-warns-election-may-be-rigged

It’s actually long past time for beleaguered GOP Vice Presidential Candidate Mike Pence to repudiate his great orange running mate’s toxic campaign.

trump-pence-03But now that Donald Trump sees the writing on the wall (and the polls), his destructive attack on the integrity of the American election process itself leaves his Veep pick with no other way to save his dignity, credibility and reputation than to jettison the flame-throwing narcissistic demagogue at the top of the ticket.

For the good of our democracy, Pence must dump Trump.

Now.

donald-trump-victim__optMike Pence says he’s a follower of Jesus Christ. What is there in the four Gospels that give any indication that the Prince of Peace would approve of Donald J. Trump? Not a thing. Re-read the Sermon on the Mount – especially the Beatitudes. Nowhere does Jesus say, “Blessed are the whining sore losers, for theirs is the right to torch the landscape in their wake.”

nov-9-lat-concedes-if-300In 1960, when Richard Nixon lost by the thinnest of whiskers to John F. Kennedy, even the man who would become infamous for campaign “dirty tricks” and Watergate respected the vote of the American people, despite unproven claims of election fraud in Illinois and West Virginia.

In 2000, when Al Gore lost by a few hanging Florida chads (and one dubious Supreme Court decision) to George W. Bush, Gore went before the cameras after the Florida recount was halted to put the nation first and acknowledge the legitimacy of his defeat.

maxresdefaultAnd now comes Donald Trump. He’s not even waiting for his eventual (and much deserved) defeat to cast doubt on the fairness of our American democracy.

Trump incites his angry followers to show up at the polls to watch out for the mass voter fraud he assures them will take place. Especially in those “inner cities” filled with, well, you know, those people…

And then there’s all those illegal immigrants Trump claims are pouring across our border to vote for Hillary. Because, of course, tens of thousands of desperate Central Americans are surely lining up to risk their lives and fortunes on a dangerous and expensive U.S. border crossing so they can put Hillary in the White House. (If you believe that, I have a bankrupt casino I’d like to sell you.)

16-trump-rally-w710-h473-2xTrump indicts the dishonest media for its part in rigging the election against him. Really? Is that what FOX, CNN and MSNBC were doing for a solid year when they covered just about every one of his rallies from start to finish? When they would put Hillary or Bernie Sanders in a little box in the corner of the frame while The Donald held court full screen? The truth is that the cable news networks were major enablers of Trump’s candidacy.

Yet even though all of Trump’s talk of a rigged election is absolute crap – millions of his followers believe him.

ct-trump-pence-huppke-20160715And that’s why Mike Pence – who surely knows better – must take a stand by standing down.

If Mike Pence doesn’t repudiate Trump’s claims of a rigged election in the strongest terms — and quit the Trump ticket now — he will have forfeited his credibility as a future candidate in our American democracy.

Trump is calling for torches and pitchforks, Governor Pence.

What would Jesus do?

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Too Little Too Late, Mr. Birther!

48093056-cachedtrump_tweet_birther_080612So now, just hours after Donald Trump couldn’t bring himself to admit to The Washington Post that President Barack Obama was born in the U.S.A. — some campaign flunky puts out a statement saying that Herr Trump actually believes that Obama is, in fact, born in America.

trump-fnc-birtherWell, let’s hear that from Donald J. Trump himself.

And then let’s hear him tell us what the hell this nonsense (or pack of shameless lies) was all about 5 years ago:


(CNN)
Possibly-serious Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is giving few details about the investigation he claims to have launched in Hawaii to get to the bottom of where President Obama was born, but the business mogul told CNN Thursday Americans will be “very surprised” by what he has found.

donald-trump-i-really-dont-know-if-obama-was-born-in-the-us“We’re looking into it very, very strongly. At a certain point in time I’ll be revealing some interesting things,” Trump said on CNN’s American Morning.Trump first claimed earlier this month he had sent investigators to Obama’s home state in an effort to find out if the president was indeed born there, as he says he was and several media organization’s independent investigations have confirmed.

trump-birther-tweet“I have people that have been studying it and they cannot believe what they’re finding,” Trump told NBC then.

******

C’mon mass media! Don’t let Trump skate on this one. What specific “interesting things” did he find out about Obama’s citizenship five years ago?

trumpbirtherWhat did his “people that have been studying it” really find? And why could they not “believe what they’re finding.”

Trump said all this crap.

The media must get Trump to say that Obama is a citizen with his own lips – and then ask the follow-up questions.

Make Trump back all his old statements up.

Or admit it was all a lie.

r-donald-trump-obam-birth-certificate-large570The Presidency of the United States is at stake.

I’m talking to you, Wolf Blitzer, Brian Williams, Lester Holt, Anderson Cooper, Andrea Mitchell – and maybe, just maybe, the last honest journalists on FOX News.

Hoist the Great Orange Demagogue by his own petard.

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Will TV News Get Tough With Trump?

bannerbanner-2160626134505-is-fact-checking-hopeful-or-hopeless-00014411-horizontal-galleryWhat is it about Donald Trump’s vulgar, shameless, fact-free Presidential candidacy that appears to suck the intelligence, discernment, fairness, judgment and journalistic integrity out of our callow cadre of TV news anchormen and women?

imagesIt’s as though Donald Trump is some sort of insidious political vampire with the power to mesmerize, fascinate and overpower his overpaid, under-researched and ratings-infatuated newsreader victims.

With about eight weeks to go until Election Day, it’s long past time for television news anchors, interviewers and, hopefully, the moderators of the upcoming debates to get tough with Trump.

85It was hard enough to watch the weak performance of NBC’s Matt Lauer in the recent Commander-in-Chief Forum, as he let Trump tell lie after lie with impunity — especially his whopper about opposing the Iraq War from the start. But much worse is the spectre of what we can expect from FOX’s Chris Wallace in the third Presidential Debate on October 19. Consider this exchange with Howard Kurtz.

1461001515099KURTZ: …as they go at it, let’s say Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, what do you do if they make assertions that you know to be untrue? 

WALLACE: That’s not my job. I do not believe it is my job to be a truth squad. 

maxresdefaultGetting at the truth is not Wallace’s job? What would his father, the late CBS News and “60 Minutes” stalwart, Mike Wallace, have said if he heard his son say such a thing?

And is there any doubt how Mike Wallace’s mentor, the legendary CBS newsman Edward R. Murrow — the man who stood up to Joe McCarthy’s lies — would have answered Kurtz’s question?edward_r-_murrow_1_630_pxlw

chris-wallaceThen again, maybe I should just set FOX News aside. After all, it’s little more than the unofficial cable channel of the Republican Party. Sure, there are elements at FOX that share some in the GOP’s ambivalence about Trump’s rogue candidacy – but it’s also clear that FOX News will not seriously challenge the rise of the Great Orange Hope.

However, we should expect much more of CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC and MSNBC.

kayleighmcenanyobamaisisSo, why do so many supposedly professional newsmen at these major media outlets fail to ask the most obvious follow-up questions when Trump and his clownish parade of lying, low-ball, blowhard surrogates mislead viewers by misstating the facts?

Are they simply unaware of the facts? Is it a research problem? Not enough time in their busy day to pursue the truth?

Of course, I’m not a professional journalist. I’m just another blogger. But I read the newspapers. (Seriously. One gets tossed onto my driveway every morning.) And I spend a little time every day surfing the news through the Internet tubes. I’m a lifelong history buff and a concerned citizen. So, it’s clear to me that our television news anchors are in dereliction of their journalistic duty.

clinton-trump-composite-rWhy else would they allow Trump and his cohort to perpetuate the calumny that Hillary Clinton is the dishonest, untrustworthy person in this race? Do they fail to challenge this relentless lie because they have no access to the fact checking by PolitiFact?

Here’s how PolitiFact analyzes Hillary’s relationship to the truth…

screen-shot-2016-09-08-at-4-26-45-pm

pasted-image-0Just in case Chris Wallace is too busy to do the math – 72% of Hillary’s assertions range between true and half-true. She’s been caught tell a lie only 2% of the time.

Trump’s pants, on the other hand, are en fuego 18% of the time. And a full 71% of his statements range from mostly false to flaming pantaloons.

screen-shot-2016-09-08-at-4-27-16-pm

pants_on_fireNo wonder Chris Wallace doesn’t want to fact-check The Donald during his debate. Wallace would have to interrupt Trump at least 71% of the time. And nobody likes to watch a football game where the referees are throwing a flag on every 7 out of 10 plays. It would be unwatchable.

Unwatchable perhaps. But it sure would be enlightening.

Going back to Matt Lauer’s pathetic Commander-in-Chief Forum performance, it should be noted that Lauer did try to challenge Trump by confronting him with a Tweet that suggested The Donald was blaming the presence of women in the military for incidents of military sexual assault.

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womenmilHowever, had Lauer done a least the ten minutes of research I just did he wouldn’t have been caught slack-jawed and flat-footed when Trump doubled down on his ignorant, erroneous notion that military sexual assault is a problem created by putting men and women together in uniform.

Lauer could have pointed out that the majority of military sexual assault victims are men.

In 2014, the Pentagon estimated that 20,300 servicemen and servicewomen were assaulted that year. Of those attacks, roughly 10,600 of the victims – more than half — were men.

Aug. 21, 2015 - Fort Benning, GA, United States of America - U.S. Army Captain Kristen Griest salutes during graduation ceremonies at the Army Ranger school August 21, 2015 in Fort Benning, Georgia. Griest and fellow soldier 1st Lt Shaye Haver became the first women to graduate from the 61-day-long Ranger course considered on of the most intense and demanding in the military. (Credit Image: � Ssgt. Steve Cortez/Planet Pix via ZUMA Wire)

And since investigations have found that, for instance, 1 in 5 females in the U.S. Air Force report assault — but only 1 in 15 males report having been sexually assaulted — we can assume that the number of male victims in the military is much higher than current estimates.

joy-ann-reid-clipped-wings-of-trump-surrogate-who-generally-bests-msnbc-hosts-videoYet, Trump and his surrogate minions are allowed, unchallenged, on network after network, to continue to frame this particular debate as an issue that’s all about women in the military.

That’s because TV news has become a lazy, undisciplined, unfocused and ill-informed show-biz circus.ashleigh-mcenany-trump-1

murrowThe great Edward R. Murrow is surely rolling over in his grave.

With the truth under constant attack and undefended by the wretched watchdogs of TV journalism, all I can say is, “Good night, and good luck.”

C’mon, you TV newsreaders!

It’s not too late to do a little research, grow some balls — and  make Mr. Murrow proud.

 

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It’s Been A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Year With Trump.

TrumpBannerI must admit that when I first saw Donald J. Trump riding his Trump Tower escalator on June 16, 2015, descending into the bowels of the GOP Presidential primary, I was intrigued. There was never a remote chance I’d vote for such an arrogant blowhard – especially when, fresh off his escalator, he declared that Mexican immigrants are “bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.” But I sensed that Trump was more than just another right wing political hack, playing to people’s fears and spouting Republican boilerplate.

campaign-2016-trumpHere was a spoiled, egocentric, reckless autocrat with no loyalty to anyone or anything but his own personal brand. This was going to be interesting.

After flushing his party’s last hope of attracting Latino voters down the Trump tube, he followed his slur on Mexican immigrants with a promise to build a border wall (that Mexico will pay for) and to ban all Muslims from entering the country. Then, when Senator John McCain expressed reservations about his unorthodox agenda, Trump attacked the former Vietnam POW, saying McCain wasn’t a war hero because he was captured and “I like people who weren’t captured.”

150827102252-donald-trump-july-10-2015-super-169It was plain to see The Donald was a dynamic and destructive force that the GOP would find hard to ignore, repudiate or control.

And it was also apparent that, no matter what shocking or offensive thing he blurted, Trump was attracting a base of supporters, many of whom wholly approved of the controversial things he said. And many right wing pols and pundits who didn’t approve were willing to forgive, overlook, and rationalize utterances that would have doomed a more conventional candidate – of either party.

158557565EM035_2012_Miss_UnAs Trump careened through each news cycle like a rip-snorting orange bull in a china shop, I enjoyed watching Republican politicians squirm, afraid to alienate Trump’s growing legion of angry, white, poorly educated fans.

Ah, the poorly educated.

After winning the Nevada Caucus in February, Trump joyously crowed that, “I love the poorly educated.” Small wonder. While his antics turned off college educated suburban voters, Trump’s less educated, less economically advantaged followers embraced his bombastic style, his millionaire trappings, his easy answers to tough questions and the notion that he was funding his own campaign. To them, Trump looked like a truth-teller who couldn’t be bought

GTY_donald_trump_ml_160304_16x9_992Meanwhile, Trump’s feckless primary opponents were unable to deal with such an unconventional, unapologetic and unblushing political bomb thrower — and were systematically dispatched.

Trump was a rascal, a rogue and a ratings winner.

When the dust settled, he was also the Republican nominee for President of the United States.

160503_POL_trump-president.jpg.CROP.promo-xlarge2At the start, those TV ratings mattered most: to the major media outlets – and to Trump’s campaign.

Trump was (and still is) given more coverage than any another candidate, as the cable news networks lingered (and still do) on empty podiums waiting for Trump to emerge and launch into another of his rambling stump speeches, which they often covered (and still do) in their entirety. We’ve never seen anything like it. No wonder Trump could fund his own primary campaign: he didn’t have to pay for TV time. He was the uncontested king of free media.

But what Trump did with all the free media exposure was most fascinating.

_88160170_trump-promoDonald Trump said things that no Republican candidate had ever said in recent memory. He was, in some ways, if we’re being completely honest, a breath of fresh air. Sometimes.

In an early primary debate, Trump told Jeb Bush to his self-satisfied face that his brother George W had not, in fact, kept America safe. Trump actually had the stones to say that the World Trade Towers came down on George W’s watch – and that the Iraq War was a disaster based on lies. It was amazing. Did Trump really say — onstage in a GOP primary — that the Iraq War was a failure predicated on lies? Watching Trump wreak havoc in those primary debates was a guilty pleasure.

635728260394906410-AP-GOP-Trump-2016And, afterwards, damned if wasn’t still leading in the polls!

Even the most die-hard liberal (like me) had to be thrilled to hear Trump toss such a devastating bomb into the orthodox Republican myth-making machinery – and come out ahead with GOP voters.

As the primary contest continued, Trump continued to toss GOP boilerplate onto the bonfire of his vanity: rejecting free trade, questioning the NATO alliance, suggesting that South Korea and Japan might arm themselves with nuclear weapons — and expressing admiration for Russian strongman Vladimir Putin.

Donald-Trump-ChokingAll of these positions would normally disqualify a Republican candidate. But not The Donald.

Which puts the GOP in a box.

And by “box”, I mean a pine box.

Trump may be the death of the Republican Party as we’ve known it since the mid-1960s – when President Johnson and the Democrats passed the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts, thus leaving the racist elements of their party receptive to the GOP’s cynical “Southern strategy”.

(Author’s note: BTW — can we please dispense with calling the Republicans “the party of Lincoln”? Would a true party of Lincoln be led by a Southern Senator who dedicated himself to making our first black President a one-term failure? Would the party of Lincoln pass laws in state legislatures designed to deny African-Americans the right to vote? Answer? No. Not in 1865 and not today.)

imagesBut, back to Trump.

While I’ve had to admit I was intrigued by his offbeat candidacy and I’ve truly enjoyed the excruciatingly uncomfortable position in which he’s put mainstream GOP candidates and conservative punditry – I’ve grown weary of the Trump circus.

I’ve seen the crazy clowns and the elephants and the “Make America Great Again” hats and balloons – and I’d like it all to be over. There’s going to be a lot of crap to clean up after the Trump parade, so let’s get out our brooms now.

At this point, it looks like the majority of American voters are going to wipe Trump’s grime off the electoral map. If the vote were taken today –here’s what the electoral results would be, based on the current polling.8-19

It appears that sanity will prevail over vanity.

Donald Trump Makes Campaign Swing Through IowaYet, now that the party conventions are over and the Olympics are over, the media pundits tell us that the American people are just now focusing on the Presidential election and that Trump’s latest “pivot” may win back some of the college-educated, suburban and minority voters who have rejected him. Some of these talking heads suggest that the race will tighten – and some, for the sake of promoting the horse race, assert that Trump may still have a chance of becoming our 45th President.

Yeah, and he’ll build that wall.

And Mexico is going to pay for it.

trump-nopeIt’s been a mad, mad, mad, mad year with Donald Trump. It’s been entertaining. It’s been surprising. It’s been nutty as hell. But when I see the rage, paranoia, xenophobia and hysteria he fuels in his fans, it’s becoming more and more frightening.

So, for that and so many other reasons, I’m with Hillary.

I look forward to the coming year, when Donald Trump will still be on television every day – but I can avoid seeing his face because I won’t be tuning in to his brand new TV network. (Sorry, Roger Ailes and Steve Bannon.)

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With Trump As Nominee, The GOP Chickens Have Come Home to Roost.

Trump banner 1Trump banner 2Trump banner 318391145-mmmainFor more than fifty years, the Republican Party, has betrayed its distant, noble 19th century origin as ”the party of Lincoln” and has moved inexorably toward its degeneration into the party of Donald J. Trump: the rump repository of poor, ill-educated, mostly white, xenophobic anger and class resentment.

donald-trump-is-escalating-his-war-of-words-with-hillary-clinton.jpgTo those who aren’t students of political history, it may seem crazy that a vulgar, bloviating, serially insulting, spray-tanned, combed-over, shoot-from-the hip billionaire real estate mogul turned reality TV personality with zero political or government experience could seize the Presidential nomination of one of our nation’s two major political parties. But, if you’ve been paying attention since 1964 (or you’ve done the least bit of research), you wouldn’t be so shocked.

donald-trump-grow-upGiven trends in the Republican party over the past half century, The Donald’s domination of the Republican nominating process should not be a surprise at all: the blitzkrieg elevation of Trump 2016 was, if not inevitable, then certainly very, very, very possible.

With Trump as their standard bearer, whether Republicans like it or not, the chickens have come home to roost for the Grand Old Party.

The phrase “the chickens have come home to roost” means that the bad things someone did in the past have come back to bite them. They must deal with the consequences of dark deeds done long ago.

Malcolmx_3_0That expression has been fraught with heavy socio-political baggage, ever since Malcolm X used it in relation to the assassination of John F. Kennedy, saying that, “President Kennedy never foresaw that the chickens would come home to roost so soon.”

When he was widely excoriated for his remark, Malcolm X explained that he meant, “the hate in white men had not stopped with the killing of defenseless black people, but that hate, allowed to spread unchecked, had finally struck down this country’s Chief Magistrate.”

Regardless of whether you consider Malcolm’s statement offensive, his citing of “hate, allowed to spread unchecked” has resonance in the context of the current state of the GOP. Indeed, the Republican Party has gotten to this woeful point by deliberately stoking the fires of racial animus, anti-government paranoia, religious intolerance and anti-intellectualism to serve its narrow electoral purposes.

lbj_vra-1024x794The cancer in the GOP that has metastasized in Trump’s primary success began its rot decades ago with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and The Voting Rights Act of 1965. These two landmark legislative victories for racial equality and egalitarian progress were passed by overwhelming Democratic majorities in the House and Senate and signed into law by a Democratic President.

c462524f2It’s been said that when President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act, he turned to his press secretary and stated ruefully that the Democratic Party had just “lost the South for a generation.”

_6be8c97b_1379a104379__8000_00000134Indeed, this was the fateful moment for both major parties. Southern Democrats — “Dixiecrats” as they were called — finally bolted their party for the GOP, fueling the Republican Party’s transition from the anti-slavery “Party of Lincoln” into the “state’s rights”, anti-Federal government repository of white resentment and racism a century after Abraham Lincoln’s martyrdom.

From the mid-1960s to the 1980s – from Nixon to Reagan to Bush, the Republicans sought power by exploiting white, working class disaffection with the advancing Civil Rights movement and other progressive social advancements, from feminism to birth control, gun control and affirmative action. Among this new GOP coalition were Nixon’s “Silent Majority” and “Reagan Democrats” — religious conservatives, including formerly Democratic working class Catholics, who rallied to Republican rhetoric against reproductive rights, LGBT rights and other progressive social causes.

wallaceTo help keep the flames of anger stirred among their new coalition, Republican politicians were not above race baiting – sometimes in subtle ways and often in overt ways. The openly racist candidacies of George Wallace and former KKK leader David Duke were obvious overtures to racial prejudice.

reagan-neshoba-wideRonald Reagan was subtle.

When candidate Reagan touted “states rights” in a speech at the Neshoba County Fair in Mississippi during his 1980 campaign – many heard an unmistakable race-baiting dog whistle.

fp_neshoba_poster_350_297_c1Reagan and his staff no doubt knew that in June of 1964, just a few miles from where he spoke, three young civil rights workers (called “Freedom Riders) were murdered by white racists in one of the most infamous atrocities during the Civil Rights Movement.

Reagan’s choice of speaking venue that day was a continuation of Richard Nixon’s “Southern Strategy.”

KLBJ Billboard on August 15, 2011

KLBJ Billboard on August 15, 2011

The GOP has refined its Southern Strategy over the years into a less obviously racist but no less intolerant “God, Guns and Gays” strategy.

The moneyed Republican political elites cynically exploited these hot-button social issues to garner conservative votes. Yet, once they got those votes, GOP legislators rarely delivered on their fiery rhetoric. Tax breaks for the wealthy were what the Republican Party was truly all about.

vxkpya90rrs90ydsqtyeAfter more than five decades of this bait and switch, many in the GOP’s angry extreme right wing got wise to the game. The most zealous of the largely Southern, anti-government, anti-choice (and, yes, racist) base grew impatient with “establishment” Republican political hacks who talked big about outlawing abortion, relaxing gun laws, putting prayer back in schools, ending affirmative action and deporting illegal immigrants – but did little or nothing to advance that agenda. And while GOP candidates crowed, “jobs, jobs, jobs” – once in office, they concentrated instead on tax policy that favored the wealthy and large corporations.

2010-09-22_gopteapartyThus, the Tea Party was born. GOP seats in the House of Representatives — and some in the Senate — were soon occupied by a large bloc of true believers for whom compromise was a dirty word. So, we got dozens of attempts to limit a woman’s right to choose and overturn Obamacare and annual threats of government shutdowns — and why not?

If you’ve been told for decades that government can do any good, who cares if it shuts down?

0fa222556df6b621f1d0e7972623efd2After all, it was Reagan who said in his first inaugural address, “Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”

This year, the GOP’s toxic sludge of anti-government rhetoric and subtle (and not so subtle) appeals to racism and intolerance have combined with their own constituency’s anger at the party establishment’s failure to deliver on social issues and jobs, jobs, jobs to produce the noxious nomination of political outsider Donald J. Trump.

ac.trump.morgan.borger.cnn.640x360Let’s not forget that Trump first seized national political attention in 2011 by questioning the citizenship of the first African-American President of the United States. The Donald was a champion of the “Birther” movement. It wasn’t a dog whistle to the racists in the GOP base: it was a trumpet blast.

partylincoln_500A year earlier, in an interview in The National Journal, doddering white Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky declared that, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” Seriously. Old cracker McConnell’s number one goal was to delegitimize the first black President.

McConnell, of course, failed in his goal.

Just as the GOP establishment failed in its goal of stopping Donald J. Trump from winning the party’s nomination.

After all, one thing leads to another.

And Republicans only have themselves to blame.heres-what-donald-trump-supporters-really-believe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Democratic Contest Begins…

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 30: U.S. Sen. Bernard Sanders (I-VT) speaks on his agenda for America during a news conference on Capitol Hill April 30, 2015 in Washington, DC. Sen. Sanders sent out an e-mail earlier to announce that he will run for U.S. president. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

150310151059-02-hillary-clinton-speech-0310-super-169

Whether you support former First Lady, New York Senator, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton or Vermont Senator (and gasp!) self-avowed Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders, there is no doubt that the vote in the Michigan Democratic Primary has turned the 2016 Presidential nominating contest into a hotly contested race.

michiganTonight’s results from the great state of Michigan haven’t changed my mind. I’ve always loved me some Bernie Sanders. (I still remember “Brunch with Bernie” on Thom Hartman’s radio show – and all of his appearances on Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC program.)

To be sure, I’m feeling the Bern all the way to the Democratic Convention. But if Hillary somehow ultimately prevails in the delegate count – I’m 100% with her against whatever monstrosity the GOP nominates: whether it’s Trump or Cruz or some lousy, GOP establishment option they manage to cobble together at a brokered (okay, “open”) convention.Screen Shot 2016-03-08 at 9.31.37 PM

So, my progressive friends – this was a great night.

Those of us who are progressive Democrats are in a great position. Bernie Sanders is leading in the right direction. If Hillary Clinton hopes to compete for the Democratic nomination, she must embrace Bernie’s populist, idealistic, progressive platform – and outflank him on the left.

Either way, we win.Screen Shot 2016-03-08 at 9.39.07 PM

Go ahead, GOP. Give us Trump or Cruz.

Can’t wait.

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You Know The Candidates – Now Meet The Can’t-idates!

Banner 1Banner 2Banner 3As crazy as the 2016 Presidential election cycle has been, my friend Craig Tomashoff’s new book proves that it’s actually crazier than you realize.

Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 9.38.30 AMIn an election year that features a billionaire tycoon/reality show star at the top of the GOP polls — The Can’t-idates: Running For President When Nobody Knows Your Name introduces us to a cast of candidates whose kookiness trumps Trump.

Craig has spent much of the past year getting to know the people he calls “The Can’t-idates” — some of the wildest dreamers and iconoclasts that have ever (somehow) gotten their names on a Presidential ballot. Can’t-idates like Pamela Pinkney Butts…

imrs.phpVermin Supreme…

…and Sydney’s Voluptuous Buttocks.

The folks in Craig’s book are definitely not contenders – unless they’re contending for the title of Most Improbable Candidacy of 2016. (A title that, come to think of it, The Donald has already locked up.)

But whatever their chances, whatever their motivations, the author treats all his “Can’t-idates” with dignity and respect — allowing them to tell their stories and reveal themselves in an entertaining and enlightening way.

IMG_3794You can get your copy of the book – and meet the author — at a book-signing party on Friday, March 25 at 7 pm at Book Soup in West Hollywood, CA. Craig assures me that daughter-made cookies will be provided, and that he will be happy to personally describe what it feels like to have Ted Cruz hug you, be interviewed with a pig, and stand five feet away from Donald Trump — not necessarily in that order.

For the book-signing, RSVP to ctomashoff@gmail.com or at this link.

More information on the book is available here.

The following are some excerpts from Craig’s press release…

Usera.Still002This country has long craved a non-politician who would campaign for president, a freewheeling dreamer not bound by conventional political wisdom. Who cares that, other than the need for oxygen to stay alive, Trump has little in common with most of his supporters? They still perceive him to be the only candidate bold enough to buck the system they despise. The thing is, he’s not. As you will learn in The Can’t-idates: Running For President When Nobody Knows Your Name, there are a lot of real real people campaigning to be Commander in Chief. If only somebody would listen to them…

2a90584Pundits also like to complain that our political system just produces the same old faces, yet they’re ignoring the hundreds of candidates who file every four years to run for president. The 2016 election has already produced more than double the number of “citizen candidates” than the 2012 election did – nearly 1,300 compared to 500.

So what keeps these people clinging against all odds to the ultimate American Dream? The Can’t-idates: Running For President When Nobody Knows Your Name has the amazing, inspiring and sometimes amusing answers.

To research this new book, award-winning journalist Craig Tomashoff spoke with more than 100 ordinary Americans attempting to accomplish the extraordinary – get elected to the highest office in the land without any political experience whatsoever. Out of those interviews, he found 15 unforgettable citizens who are running for the highest office in the land not just to make their country a better place. They’re also doing it to find something that’s been missing from their personal lives.

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No, that’s not Sydney’s Voluptuous Buttocks. It’s that woman who ran Hewlett-Packard into the ground.

Tomashoff traveled 10,000 miles in three weeks to meet these 15 people. There’s Harley Brown, the Hell’s Angel in Idaho whose job used to be informing military families that they’re loved ones had died. Until God told him to run. There’s Josh Usera, the ex-MMA fighter from South Dakota, who hopes his campaign will redeem his hometown reputation after several brushes with the law. And there’s Vermin Supreme, the Massachusetts political prankster who is back for a seventh run at the White House by promising free candy and ponies in exchange for votes.

The Can’t-idates: Running For President When Nobody Knows Your Name offers a lively, loving look at a collection of misfits, ne’er-do-wells and American dreamers who still believe in something the rest of us have long since forgotten.

People.Cantidates

 

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