True Believer, Pundit for Hire, or Poe, The Michael Savage Edition.

Some media personalities are so far out of the land of reality that you really have to start questioning their motivation.  I’ve mentioned my half joking theory that Victoria Jackson is actually a Poe before, but its not just washed up SNL actors who make you wonder, especially when you realize the type of education some of these people have received.  What actually lurks within the dark mind of say, Ann Coulter?  Does Megyn Kelly really give a flying fuck if Santa is Caucasian?  How do you rant against drug users endlessly while in the euphoric grip of Oxycontin?  The rise of the alt-right ads a layer to it all as well, as they often scream offensive things from the mountaintop, whether they believe it or not, because their goal is to offend, not convey information.  Scraping past Milo you reach the stage where you really have to start questioning the mental health of the media figure you are watching, to the point that you start hoping people will actually get help.  I’m willing to buy that Alex Jones is more than happy to put whatever crazy shit people will listen to on the air in a cynical, and highly successful, ploy to monetize conspiracy thinking, but I can’t help but worry about a good portion of his guests.  Of course, you never can see into any ones thoughts to know for sure what they believe.  We will never know, for example, if David Icke is a true believer in our lizard overlords, or if he had just found his flock of fools to fleece, unless it is the latter option and he happens to confess before he dies.

As you can tell from the title of this post, what got me thinking on the subject today is radio host and author Michael Savage, (not to be confused with the must read sex columnist of Savage Love for The Stranger and must listen to podcast host of The Savage Lovecast, Dan Savage, although I’m sure Dan wouldn’t mind if you sent Michael Savage some of your trickiest anal sex questions.) Dispatches from the Culture Wars has a post on the latest idiocy to escape Michael Savages mouth, quoting RightWingWatch I believe:

Michael Savage expressed outrage yesterdayoverreports that the Department of Homeland Security is trying to work with states to combat potential security risks, which the conservative radio host said amounts to “an absolute coup.”

He alleged that President Obama is addicted to criminal behavior much like a drug addict, describing him as “a man who is seeking a greater thrill to see what he can get away with next” who “has to escalate his crimes against America.”

Savage, a fervent supporter of Donald Trump, said that Obama administration officials “are basically telling us that if Trump wins, they’ll suspend the election because something is going to happen, or they’re going to take control of the election to make sure Trump can’t win.”

This is starting to reach the point where you can say something  similar to what Dawkins said about belief in evolution in many cases.  After the past 7 3/4 years in power, in spite of his dogged refusal to suspend the Constitution and declare himself Dictator in Chief/Anti-Christ along side his almost suicidal strategy of not grabbing up everyone’s guns while murdering hundreds of his supposed Muslim brothers in ISIS with remote controlled death bots, and surprisingly enough ordering the attack that killed his number 1 BFF from Islamic Terrorist School, the man he used to dance with in the clubs on the weekends, as their admirers chanted, “Go Bama, Go Sama, Go Bama, Go Sama, Obama, Osama, Obama, Osama, Death to America!”  Ahh, those were the days.  Anyway, Obama not only had to deal with memories such as that while ordering the strike on his old friend, but think of how much of an investment was lost by the Clinton Foundation in the raid?  They are so cold and calculating as they bring Sharia law to America/as they bring about the End Times/as they prepare us for war against the greys as cannon fodder for the lizard generals.

Don’t get me wrong here.  As Brad Friedman points out loudly and often over at The Brad Blog, the United State’s reliance on questionable voting systems such as touch screen machines or our instance on involving technology into the counting process with optical scan readers instead of the gold standard of hand counted paper ballots opens our elections up to all sorts of issues, from legitimate computer errors to outright fraud.  This isn’t that.  This isn’t an evidence based investigation into our election system, hell, this isn’t even a GOP lawmakers attempt to use the vanishingly rare threat of in person voter fraud to disenfranchise (surgically, I guess one could say) a specific group of voters who happen to rarely vote your way come election day.

This is a man claiming the current President of the United States is addicted to criminal behavior, possibly because of his race or religion (Islam, natch) if you read between the lines.  He is claiming that the President has to take his law breaking to higher and higher extremes as he searches for that high that comes from criming.  He says he has to “escalate his crimes against America,” which honestly terrifies me.  I mean, how could he ever top that time he confiscated every legally owned gun in America?  Or when he forced those straight Christian folks to give those Satanic priests blow jobs as part of the Super Bowl halftime show?  Who could forget the infamous lottery, where Obama’s obsession with equality saw those bastards at FEMA force straight people to get gay married until their was an equal number of straight and gay marriages in America.  We still live with echos from that lottery of course, with the illegality of divorce and the necessity for a married person to die before a new marriage can take place.  Just be happy they decided equality didn’t have to extend to the number of widows and widowers.  You should have seen the death squads that would have required.  Of course it would have saved a lot of Social Security, so you have to remember that everything is a trade off, but still.  That would have been a depressing government job.  I mean, unless they found people who enjoyed the work, just like they did with those Obamacare death panels.  Anyway, anytime we are discussing the crimes of Obama we have to remember Jade Helm 15…..<sniff>….never forget.  I never thought anything like that could happen in America, but every single time I look at a map I can see that the United States does indeed control the State of Texas.  Such a shocking development.  So many of us were just as surprised that day as we were when Obama declared that the National Day of Prayer would henceforth be National Day of Get Your Daughter a Mandatory Abortion and 4 Months of Contraception, enforced by armed members of Planned Parenthood with the license to kill for any girls over 9, in honor of the Prophet.  Escalating from those non-existent crimes means his next act has to be declare martial law/steal the election level shit.

I used to listen to Michael Savage a long time ago, before the days of podcasts, back when I drove for a living and only had an AM radio in my truck.  (As earlier stated, I now can listen to Dan Savage on demand.  Much better sex advice, believe me.)  He’s always been a bit out there, but he isn’t a stupid man.  At least, he didn’t seem like it.  I rarely agreed with him ,although I swear I remember an old episode where he raged about the idiocy of creationists and the obviousness of the evidence for evolution to any intelligent person.  I swear he kept pointing out his science degree and insisting that creationists made the conservative movement look stupid.  I so wish I would have recorded that episode, half to prove to me that I really heard it and to compare it to whatever he currently thinks about evolution.  It could help us figure out the question.

What question?  Why, the question of the title of course.  While one can never totally rule out the “Poe” option, as I’ve seen it suggested that Ann Coulter is a Poe, I personally think it would be extremely unlikely for any well known conservative pundit to actually be attempting satire.  Other than Victoria Jackson of course, who has totally been in character for the last 2o years non-stop.  I find it much easier to believe that this is simply Michael Savage’s flock to fleece, with the rise of Alex Jones forcing his conspiracies deeper into left field as we go.  After all, Jones has pretty much proven that their is no fence out there, that the conspiracy minded is willing to consider a fake massacre at an elementary school involving hired crisis actors portraying the grieving parents and (I guess?) the injured children a reasonable enough explanation for what happened in Newtown, Connecticut that some of them are willing to directly call mourning fathers liars.

So maybe Michael Savage is just claiming that Obama is a criminal who will use his executive power to keep Trump out of the office 90% of the People obviously want him to have, either by the installation of Hillary or by finally revealing his plan to become dictator in chief for a paycheck.  And as likely as I find that, I honestly have a hard time with people outright lying to their audience day after day after day, willfully spreading misinformation that is damaging our political system and our nation all for an extra few bucks.  How much of this does he believe?  How strong of a right wing echo chamber does he actually live within?  I wonder which is scarier:  that people are so insulated from reality that there is a large audience for this, or that there is absolutely no way to know if the pundit in question even believes in the damaging shit he is peddling?

Inquiring Minds, and Knowing is Half the Battle, and some such shit.

 

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The Most Frightening Quote I’ve Seen This Week

holyshit

That is Altoona State Rep. John McGinnis.  Quoted in the May 29th Altoona Mirror.  I can’t find the Political Notebook column at the Mirror’s site, but here’s a screen shot from the behind the paywall copy.

McGinnis said that.  In front of people.  On the record.

Jesus fucking Christ on a Crutch.

Another Thing To Add To The List

Normally I tend to shy away from the line, “I’ll believe it when I see it.”  Personally seeing something isn’t the best reason for belief, honestly, once you have an adequate understanding of how the human brain operates.  Let’s just say that if I saw a ghost or an alien spaceship, it wouldn’t necessarily result in me believing in ghosts and/or alien spaceships.  A preponderance of evidence is much more important to my acceptance of somethings existence than personal experience.  I hike/backpack quite often, and yes, I have seen and heard several things that could have possibly been sasquatchi.  (Fight the man!  Help make “Sasquatchi” the proper plural form of “Sasquatch.” Fuck “Sasquatches.”  No, not literally.  Well, I guess if you find one, if that is what you are into, and the Sasquatch consents, then take my comment as literally as you wish.  Who am I to stand in the way of consenting human/Sasquatch love?  Just make sure the Sasquatch consents, Bobo.)   They also could have been bears, bucks during the rut, or a myriad amount of animals so extensive that I refuse to list them all.  I could go around saying that I saw or heard Bigfoot, but reality and the preponderance of evidence suggest one of the other possible explanations are exponentially more likely.  Was that thing I saw in Wildwood Cemetery a ghost, a demon, or light reflecting from a car’s headlights?   Is that an alien spaceship, or am I misinterpreting something in the sky?  I can come up with a nice sized list of reasons to doubt what you personally witness before even bringing hallucinations into the discussion.  So yeah, I’ll accept/believe something not when I see it, but when I see a preponderance of evidence.

All of that being said, there are still a few things that I truly will only believe when I see it.  This election season seems to be the genesis of most of them.  One of them, that one of the two major political parties in the United States would actually nominate Biggest Loser contestant( I know it is the wrong reality show, but tell me it doesn’t fit), horrific hairstyle model, wannabe dictator,  bankruptcy claiming con artist, xenophobic misogynist, fascism tinged populist who claims to have way more money than he actually has, who espoused  fairly run of the mill liberal political positions up until a couple years ago Donald “Not Joking” Trump as their Presidential candidate, was witnessed yesterday when, anticlimactically, enough unbound delegates to put him over the top expressed their intentions to vote for Donald “The Death of Serious Politics” Trump, thereby saving any of the remaining states and territories the horrible distinction of being the one that clinched him the nomination.  Yep, I admit it completely.  Even with my low opinion of the Republican base, I would have bet a seriously large amount of cash against him.  I mean, sure, I knew the racism and xenophobia, along with his faux populist message was going to play well, sadly, among the white working class.  But I was positive a combination of evangelical Christians along side horrified moderates (well….those that still exist in the GOP) and embarrassed movement conservatives would find some way to stop his campaign.  I mean, I don’t believe in a religious test for office to be sure, but Evangelicals sure as hell do, and Trump is about as Christian as I am.  No, I take that back.  I could fake it much better than he could since I’ve read the Bible and studied apologetics.  There is no way they believed his religious pandering, especially with Ted Cruz, a man so wrapped in the faith that the Westboro Baptist Church thought he should tone it down a bit (I kid….Or do I?), running against him for comparison.

I was wrong.  So were quite a few Evangelical candidates.  All those years the GOP spent pounding the Bible while carefully playing their racist dog whistles and it turns out the equation for victory was simply exchanging the Bible pounding for half-assed pandering and the dog whistle for outright bigotry.  Who knew?

“That’s okay,” I thought.  Even if Donald “Goodbye, America’s Reputation” Trump manages to use insanely unrealistic campaign promises along with  the bigotry the GOP’s been seeding with the “Southern Strategy” for decades now to somehow win the nomination, all that means is at least 4 more years with a Democratic President.  I mean, you heard these high ranking members of the GOP during the campaign.  Trump’s middle name may as well be “Not Qualified for the Office of President.”  Fox News used the first debate and Megyn Kelly to try and take him down.  The National Review dedicated a whole issue to #NeverTrump.  The last GOP nominee was practically begging someone, anyone, else to get in the race.  The base may make him the nominee, but the elite members of the party realized that not only would a Trump presidency be a national nightmare, but even being associated with him would be an asterisk after their names in the history book.  Sure, it would cost them the White House, but they could come back stronger in 2020 and they would have the added admiration from independents and moderates for standing up against Donald “Not Qualified for the Office of President” Trump.

Did you see Megyn Kelly’s softball interview with Donald “She had blood coming out of her…..wherever” Trump?  She was harder on the Duggar’s.  Anyone else having fun watching people who insisted he wasn’t anywhere near qualified for the Presidency endorse him?  For as much of a jackass as he is, I really thought more of Chris Christie, and yet there he was, the first to cross the line.  I mean sure, there are a few members of the GOP who are more concerned with their personal integrity than victory.  Last I checked George Will was still writing anti-Trump columns.  I don’t see endorsements coming anytime soon from Romney or anyone named Bush.  Senator Ben Sasse has drawn the ire of his own state’s GOP leadership with his anti-Trump stance.  The communications chair of the Young Republican National Federation,  Katrina Elaine Jorgensen, resigned over his nomination.  And the Governor of New Mexico, Susana Martinez, skipped out on Trump’s rally in her state the other day, and was vocal about skipping the convention until she realized her position as chairwoman of the Republican Governors Association kind of obligates her to be in attendance.  I doubt Glenn Beck is planning on jumping on the Trump train, and I believe at least one influential right wing news site is still #NeverTrump.

Other than that?  Watch them fall in line.  Anyone really expect Paul Ryan isn’t going to endorse Donald “nice tits, no brain” Trump?  A bit of advice for all the #NeverTrumpers now stampeding their way to his campaign?  Don’t neglect the balls.  If you do, he will fire you.  And don’t forget to toss the salad, although I would skip that on days he pandered to Hispanics by eating taco salad.

So what’s left this year for me to believe when I see?

I’ll only believe their are enough white men in this country to elect Donald “The Man Who Single-Handedly Caused the Entire World to Reevaluate Their Foreign and Economic Policies Towards the United States” Trump when I see ……  Okay, scratch this one. Thanks to 100% unverifiable touchscreen voting machines, I will never believe this one, no matter what happens.  (Are you stunned at the thought of 100% unverifiable voting machines?  Yeah, I was as well.  Go to The Brad Blog and follow his reporting.  Our elections are so shady they make corrupt dictators look honest.  )

I’ll only believe people in the United States are fucking stupid enough to either outright elect Trump, or come close enough that our rotten election system, through honest errors or malicious hacking, is able to tilt the count in his favor when I see the final election results, with 100% reporting.

I’ll believe the Justice Department is going to indict Hillary Clinton over those emails when I see her do the perp walk live on the network news.

And finally, and just as unlikely as the two above, I will believe Bernie Sanders is enough of a selfish fuck to give Donald “Pocahontas” Trump the priceless Christmas in June present of a televised debate when the only realistic chance Sanders has of winning the Democratic nomination is the previously mentioned extremely unlikely indictment of HRC, resulting in the only possible beneficiary of such a debate being Donald “that low life” Trump as he commiserates with Bernie over how rigged the Democratic nominating system is as he actively courts Sanders supporters, all the while saving any negative thing Sanders says about HRC for future campaign ads, when I fucking see it on my television screen.

Sorry.  I still have too much respect for Bernie to actually think he would go through with this horrid idea.  I’ve been wrong before, and if I am, believe me, I will be back to tear into Mr. Sanders with all the vitriol I can muster, but until then, I’ll chalk it up to a joke gone awry.

Maybe Republicans should debate with Democrats during the primary season.  Sanders floated that idea at the beginning of it all, and it is an interesting one to think about.  That debate should definitely not be between one parties Presidential nominee and the other parties second place finisher.

No matter how much it could raise for charity.


I love politics.  Love it.  I’m addicted.  It is just about all I read about.  Politics and ASOIAF.  Hell, half the reason I love ASOIAF so much is the political wrangling in the series.  But this particular election is getting hard to watch, and therefore, hard to write about.  My 80 year old mother, who largely ignores politics, is openly scared over this.  This 4’11, 93lbs little old lady brought up Hitler in comparison during a conversation yesterday.  I laughed and told her about Godwin’s Law, which made me think:  Is Godwin’s Law harmful in some instances?  If something really is Hitler like, then shouldn’t we be able to go with the comparison that makes the most sense without instantly losing the argument and being seen as a crank?  I’m not saying that Trump wants to kill all the Muslims and Mexicans.  He just wants to evict them from the country.  Which is how Hitler started with the Jews, by the way.  He didn’t start with gas chambers.

I am not saying that Trump could become a Hitler.  The United States isn’t suffering under an unfair treaty imposed upon us after a war that killed an entire generation.  We aren’t going to invade Canada.  There are never going to be death camps gassing Muslims and Hispanics.  In 2020, Trump is not going to declare martial law and put an end to free elections, declaring himself President for life, no matter how many right wing nut jobs were convinced Obama was going to do that by now.

I am saying, however, that there may be comparisons to be made and lessons to be learned that can only be discovered by scrapping Godwin’s Law for a period of time.  Perhaps I just found something to write about.

All I know for sure is this:  If you aren’t at all concerned about the wave of xenophobic bigotry and hate that Trump is currently riding, then you haven’t been paying attention.

 

You Know Guys, I’m Starting to Think Salon Has Something Against Hillary.

Quick stop at Salon (I know, I have a problem…), massive case of the eye rolls.

First we’ve got:

A liberal case for Donald Trump: The lesser of two evils is not at all clear in 2016

followed closely by:

Please, FBI — you’re our last hope: The Democratic Party’s future rests upon your probe of Hillary Clinton’s emails

Let’s quickly begin with Walker Bragman……wait, seriously?  *returns to Salon and clicks around his author page.*  Hmm, “Hillary is only Republican lite”,….ah, here’s “Fine, give the GOP four years,” wonder if he just expects all the Supreme Court justices to be fine and stay in office until 2020 or if he just doesn’t care?  Oh, wait.  I missed “Hillary supporters present a false choice.”  Hmm.  Oh god, sorry about that.  I got lost in his Salon history consisting of nothing but Hillary hit pieces.  Anyway, yeah, his name appears to be Walker Bragman and his is “a liberal case for Donald Trump“:

That said, now that the race between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton is effectively over, with the former secretary of state essentially guaranteed the nomination, many liberals and progressives are preparing, once again, to vote for the lesser of two evils. The choice may not be as clear as some Democrats believe — especially if Democrats can take back the Senate and assure themselves of a check on a GOP House.

*raises hand*

Why the living fuck would we be expecting the Democrats to take back the Senate if the Presidential election results in a Donald Trump victory?

Like it or not, the Supreme Court needs to count for much more than anyone willing to concede 4 years to a GOP president is counting it.  GOP presidents have had a much stronger hand in shaping the present court, and that court has been horrible for those wish for a political system they can trust.  It isn’t all about reproductive rights, although if you honestly think we aren’t one judge away from allowing states to outlaw abortion, and if you really believe that they would stop at just abortion once they won that battle, then I envy you your ignorance supported bliss.  The current court gutted the Voting Rights Act.  Citizen’s United was their decision.  Union cases sit at 4-4 currently.  The Supreme Court matters.  It may be the most important result of the upcoming election.  Yet all of these “Sanders or Bust” or “HRC over my dead body” columns act like it’s no big thing.  I don’t get it.  Do they just think all the liberal justices are in perfect health?  Misogyny based on the ignorant belief that the only reason progressives care about the court is abortion access?  Forgetting that a Bernie Sanders presidency would more than likely see the Supreme Court rule every second move he made unconstitutional?  Refusing to believe in the third branch of government?  I just don’t get it.

Anyway, since any conceivable Trump presidential victory would result in the GOP retaining the House and Senate, I really don’t see the need to read any further.  Feel free if you want though.  When you’re done, join the rest of us below…..

As we mock H.A. Goodman’s open letter to the FBI.  (I’m serious.  That’s what it is.)  The letter starts right off raising the stakes super high for us readers:

“Help me, Obi Wan Kenobi.  You’re my only hope.

Wait, sorry, wrong letter.

To the Honorable James B. Comey, Jr. and all the good people at the Federal Bureau of Investigation,

Yeah, that’s all I can bring myself to quote.  I’m sorry, it’s kinda embarrassing, like that time Fonzie got roped into performing a water ski trick over a large fish.  The “TL;DR” version?  It’s a Bernie supporter who finally realized that the only way Sanders is going to get the Democratic nomination this year is if the FBI indicts Hillary before the convention, so he goes to the FBI, telling them how everyone else thinks they are total jokes who will never move out of their parents basements or get a date, but he respects  the FBI as a proud, patriotic, professional organization with VERY LARGE PENISES who should be held up as everything that’s right with America, and oh by the way if you would PLEASE INDICT HILLARY OMG PLEASE PLEASE I’M BEGGING YOU PLEASE!!!!

The saddest thing is that those of you who decide not to read the whole letter will never realize exactly how close my “TL;DR” summary actually is to the original.

An Apology to the Altoona Mirror and Another Local GOP Debate

Monday I made a comment about the Mirror’s article covering the Shuster V. Halvorson debate, suggesting that it seemed like ” a very amusing write up in the Altoona Mirror as a conservative newspaper attempted to perform simultaneous fellatio on two candidates.”  While I stand by the humor content of the statement, upon further review of the article in question I have decided that it doesn’t really describe the article justly and I feel that I owe the Altoona Mirror an apology.  There are more than enough legitimate gripes I could make about the Mirror.  The above quote was a cheap shot.  I am sorry.  I no longer believe the Mirror instructed the author of the piece to avoid offending either candidate in any way.

I just think the author of the piece is a horrible writer.

What changed my mind?  Yet another Republican debate, this time between the candidates for state House in the 79th district; incumbent John McGinnis and challenger (not from the far right?….*faints*) Pete Starr, and the accompanying write up in the Mirror by the same reporter who covered the previous debate.  (No, I’m not going to slam him by name.  Click the link and check the byline if you really want to know.  I feel bad enough complaining about a local newspaper reporter without causing this post to pop up every time he is Googled.)  Candidate Starr is a strange challenger for this area, where the Tea Party has a major presence in the local GOP and breaking with conservative ideology is political suicide.  As the candidates for the US House keep running so far to the right I expect them to circle back again, Pete Starr seems to be basing his candidacy on his actual beliefs, even if they earn him the “RINO” label.  I mean, can you believe the following is attributed to a Republican candidate?

Starr favors unions, saying the state doesn’t have enough jobs to handle much in-migration, that if an applicant doesn’t want to join a union, he or she should avoid applying to union firms

Wait, what?  Does he want to win this race?  Or how about the following:

On the budget impasse, McGinnis blamed Gov. Tom Wolf and credited lawmakers for holding firm.

Starr placed blame all around and suggested none of the responsible parties should get paid if it happens again, until they reach a resolution.

Putting all the blame on Gov. Wolf for the budget crisis PA is still kinda dealing with is one of the worst lies I’ve seen yet this season.  Oh yes, the poor, brave GOP lawmakers stood up to the evil, mean Governor, protecting their poor constituent’s bank accounts.  Never mind the fact that the way Pennsylvania’s congressional districts are currently drawn practically guarantees large Republican majorities in both the state House and Senate while the majority of voters statewide pull the Democratic lever.  Never mind how Gov. Wolf campaigned on his budget ideas and won 54.9% of the vote, making Corbett the first PA governor in the modern era to lose reelection, during an election year that the Republicans wiped the floor with Democrats all across the nation.  Ignore the compromise that the Governor forged with PA’s congressional Republican leadership only to see the far right Republicans stomp their feet, hold their breath, and insist that compromise is for Democrats and losers, infuriating most of the state as they blocked the deal and allowed the state to continue along without a budget.  Gov. Wolf is not totally innocent here, as especially after the compromise deal was derailed he seemed to take a more hard line stance, but I really have trouble blaming him.  If the situation were reversed, and the Democrats, holding a large state congressional majority, were blocking tax cuts that a Republican governor, who was just elected with 55% of the vote, had campaigned on, the GOP would be screaming about a “mandate from the voters” and how the Democrats were blocking the “will of the people.”

You have to love this line from McGinnis though, making the conservative dick waving that GOP primaries have become plain as day.

“Which of us is more Republican?” McGinnis asked rhetorically.

I would write a bit more about this debate and the article describing it, but I honestly am having trouble giving a shit.  The article is just more of the incomprehensible attempt at repeating the debate, word for word if possible, just like the previous article on the Shuster/Halvorson debate.  Rather than recapping each candidates major points and perhaps highlighting an important exchange or two, the author alternates between the two candidate’s views each paragraph.   Starr says this, but McGinnis said this, then Starr said “Nuh Uh, ” but McGinnis said “Uh Huh!,” causing Starr to claim he was rubber while McGinnis was glue, to which McGinnis responded with a vicious “I know you are, but what am I,” which is when Starr called McGinnis a “doody-head,” to which a visibly upset McGinnis yelled at him to “take it back or my brother is going to kick your ass so hard,” causing Starr to claim that his sister could beat up McGinnis, his brother, and his father, all without breaking a sweat, which caused the moderator to exclaim “oh come on, your sister could not beat up all those people without sweating,” at which point McGinnis, through visible tears, called Starr’s sister a “freak afflicted with cooties,” at which point Starr’s sister stood up in the audience and shouted for McGinnis to “take it back or I’ll step on a crack and fuck your mother right up,” at which caused the whole crowd to stand up and yell “Oh no, she didn’t!!!!,” causing McGinnis to take his ball and go home, ending all hope of a post debate kickball game.

At least that’s what I think I read.  It was a bit all over the place.

The other reason I can’t bring myself to care?  Well, I’m a resident of the 80th district for one.  Second, it’s a closed primary so where I live doesn’t change the power of my vote.  And when the general election comes around, whoever won the GOP primary is going to destroy the sacrificial Democratic candidate, if they even bother running one.  So tell me.  Why should I care?  I can’t even care about my own district, cause my far right representative is unopposed in the primary, unopposed in the general.  That election should be thrilling.

Ah, don’t ya love American democracy?  So good to know that I have a voice, and that my vote matters.

And people wonder why some people don’t bother voting.  Some years I wonder why I bother.

(For those who are wondering, the last Democrat to represent the 79th was in 1979.  The 80th is worse.  From the birth of the district in 1969, one Democrat served one two year term, beginning in 1977.  <Hey, if anyone reading knows why W. William Wilt lost his reelection bid in 1976 I would love to hear why.  Something tells me there is a story in Michael E. Cassidy’s victory begging me to write it.  Youngest PA state Rep in history.  Turned 21 two months prior to being sworn in.  Anyone who knows anything about that election, please let me know.>)

Democracy in Action

So in a partial repeat of 2014, Bill Shuster (R-PA) is facing a vicious primary challenger from the right by the name of Art Halvorson.  In 2014 Shuster was able to fend off Halvorson’s challenge in a three way primary battle, with Shuster picking up 52.8% of the vote, Halvorson earning 34.5%, and livestock farmer Travis Schooley rounding out the race with 12.7%.  In the 2016 primary, Shuster and Halvorson will square off one against one for a seat in the US House that has been filled by a Shuster since 1973.  (Bill’s father, Bud Shuster, held the seat from 1973 until resigning in 2001 a few months before Bill won his first term.  Ah, political nepotism.)

The primary battle gives every indication of being a nasty one, with Halvorson running on a purely obstructionist platform, slamming Shuster for not shutting the government down to defund Obamacare, then ripping him for not shutting it down over Planned Parenthood funding.  If it gives you any idea, Halvorson’s campaign motto is “Rescue America.”  The candidates recently had a debate, which resulted in a very amusing write up in the Altoona Mirror as a conservative newspaper attempted to perform simultaneous fellatio on two candidates that seem to hate each other with the passion of a million white hot suns.

Art Halvorson, Republican primary challenger for the District 9 U.S. House seat, attacked incumbent Bill Shuster in a debate Saturday, calling him out for being part of a Republican failure to counter President Barack Obama’s liberalism and for alleged ethics problems because of his relationship with a lobbyist.

Shuster accused Halvorson of lying and of running a relentlessly negative campaign – to the extent of flip-flopping just to position himself opposite of the incumbent.

Shuster can’t duck responsibility for leaders in the Republican-majority House and Senate for failing to control spending, the national debt and taxes with a budget, a failure that has undermined the economy and damaged the nation’s confidence, Halvorson said.

That failure culminated in the $1.1-trillion “Cromnibus” spending bill passed in December – “an atrocity” – that failed to defund Obamacare, gave the president a “blank check” on executive amnesty for illegal immigrants and “caved” to Obama on Planned Parenthood, Halvorson said.

Shuster actually voted against a $1.5 trillion spending bill a few months earlier that had many of the same effects, according to an analysis by the Conservative Review.

Spending and revenue bills originate in the House, but the Senate needs to agree, and that’s been a stumbling block, Shuster said.

Still, Republicans over the last few years have cut $2.1 trillion, reducing it four years in a row, which had not happened for more than 60 years, he said.

They’ve also managed significant changes for cuts in the tax code, including some that have been made permanent, Shuster said.

I’m sorry, this is the most painful article on a political debate I believe I have ever read.  I’ve never seen a line by line recap of arguments for presidential debates, let alone House primary races.  Rather than writing anything original, it seems that the reporter just wants to avoid offending either candidate by making sure to repeat each of their talking points.  And it just keeps on going…..

The nation needs to pay its debt and most of the Obama-care spending is mandatory, Shuster said, adding that nevertheless, he has always opposed Obamacare and participated in successful efforts to eliminate or defund pieces of it, like the “death panels.” He opposes amnesty “in any way, shape or form,” opposes admitting anyone from “failed states,” favored building a wall along the Mexican border and the identification of illegal immigrants, followed by their processing for deportation.

Shuster’s not a true conservative, having received an F from the Club for Growth and the Heritage Foundation, Halvorson said.

Shuster is actually ranked 135 among the House’s 435 members by the club for 2014, a number that is broadly representative since 2005, in a chart on the club’s website.

The Club for Growth is “a bunch of millionaires and billionaires that have formed a little clique,” anyway, Shuster said.

It’s no credit to a lawmaker to try for a 100 percent voting record for any group, because you need to look at every piece of legislation, Shuster said.

He has an 86 percent rating from the American Conservative Union, a 90 percent rating from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and a 100 percent rating from the National Right to Life Committee, he said. He has an A rating from the National Rifle Association.

Look, my right wing cock is bigger than yours!  No, my right wing testicles are heavier than yours! Time for someone to play the religion card…..

Halvorson said he’s a born-again Christian who follows the Scriptures and “upholds the highest ethical standards,” while Shuster has “a close, intimate relationship” with a lobbyist who has access to the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, of which Shuster is the chairman, and that Shuster has cavorted in South Beach, almost as if to celebrate their successful partnership.

He is referring to Shelley Rubino, a lobbyist for Airlines for America. Shuster has said previously that she doesn’t lobby his office or his staff directly, and that legal counsel has cleared their handling of the matter.

The personal attacks and “misrepresentation” of his record is “disgraceful,” Shuster said.

“My campaign has been about me,” Shuster said. “Your campaign has been about me.”

Negative from start to what he expects to be the finish, he added.

Negative?  Where would he have ever got that idea?

The Republicans had the power of the purse, but have squandered it, surrendering to Obama, Halvorson said.

The nation is failing, confidence is low and the economy is weakening, Halvorson said.

“We’re supposed to be a city on a hill, but there’s nothing to look up to,” he said. “Two more years is not warranted.”

Confidence is low?  Hell yeah, because of Republicans like Halvorson is swearing he will be who think compromise is failure.  This guy is a True Believer, who seems to honestly think the nation would have rose up in support of the House Freedom Caucus if they would have shut the government down over Planned Parenthood.

“I represent conservative values,” Shuster said. “I’ve worked hard to find solutions.”

He’s faced election successfully eight times, he added.

And that is possibly the weakest rebuttal in the history of debates.  In 2010 this Congressional district was rated the most Republican district in the state.  Our last Democratic Representative lost his re-election bid……in 1939.  The GOP candidate could blow coke off a stripper’s ass on national television the day before the election and still draw 60%.  Shuster did make one strong point without trying, showing every moderate voter listening exactly why a GOP presidential win would be disastrous.

The key to the kind of accomplishments Halvorson is hammering him about will be getting a Republican president, which will enable Congress, working with that president, to drive down taxes, control spending, harness debt and appoint a conservative to the Supreme Court to replace the late Antonin Scalia, Shuster said.

The absolute worst part about this all?

Pennsylvania has a closed primary, so only registered Republicans get to decide between these candidates.  No Democrat has filed to run in opposition in November, although to be honest, why even bother when you know your opponent is going to pull 60% of the vote no matter what?  So 40% of the district gets to hope the Republican primary voters aren’t crazy enough to primary Shuster, who, for all of his failings, at least gets things done for the district.

So yeah.  Democracy in action.  The districts registered Republicans will choose our district Representative with no outside input.

What a system.

Presidential Primary Voters Guide

Wake up, fellow Pennsylvanians, you are not dreaming.  No, for some strange reason your vote in the presidential primary this  year will actually (gasp) matter!  I know, who would have ever thunk it.

Since today was crazy busy and I ran out of time to post anything before the start of the weekend, I thought I would throw a quick voting guide together for my friends on both sides of the aisle.

GOP Presidential Primary

If you(r)…..

  • hold political views that were considered “far right” during Reagan’s time in office.
  • think the hatred and bigotry tainting the primary is unseemly, unless its directed towards women.
  • secretly want to gobble the cocks of every member of Meet the Press.
  • really want to listen to movement conservatives talk about how they would have won if you would have nominated a “true” conservative.
  • honestly want to choose the most electable candidate.
  • version of Christianity demands you provide medical care to the no good poors.
  • You want to waste your vote.

then you should vote for Ohio Governor John Kasich.  He may be a misogynist, but don’t worry, the mainstream media, you know, that you keep calling liberal?, they will make him out to be a sane, moderate choice that everyone can get behind.  Nominate Kasich and after the mainstream media turns him into a uniting force for America, you have the presidency.  Of course, he’s only won the state he is governor of, and if they give him the nomination at the convention over two candidates with far more popular support Cleveland is going to burn.  And a bunch of Trump and Cruz supporters will probably stay home.  Wow, maybe Kasich as the nominee would grab moderates after the media lies to them that Kasich is a moderate, yet still lose the election because of a conservative revolt?  Shit, you guys are fucked.  Sorry.

If you(r)…..

  • hold political views that would have gotten you laughed out of any GOP meeting during the Reagan era.
  • want to cut the federal government down to the armed forces, the FBI, and the FBVI*.
  • love a candidate who will lie constantly, even when he doesn’t have to.
  • want a candidate who’s tax plan will only work if 90% of the government is cut.
  • think we never came close enough to nuclear war during the Cold War and want to try again.
  • think a religious war sounds like a great way to bring the 2010’s to a close.
  • thoughts on the “100 cans of soup” incident were “she should have kept her mouth shut.”
  • want to scare Canada and most of Europe half to death.
  • want to shove your religion so far down everyone’s throats that they think they are shooting for Throated.com.
  • hate women, Catholics, Muslims, wishy-washy Christians, immigrants, and blacks who think their lives matter.

then you should vote for Texas Senator Ted Cruz.  And maybe get yourself some help.

If you(r)…..

  • hold political views that would get you arrested in Germany.
  • think reality television show star is a good qualification for President.
  • really think you should have been alive in 1930’s Germany, that you missed your calling.
  • have a sub-50 IQ.
  • honestly believe (heh) that (ha) Mexico (lol) is (snark) going to (rofl) pay for (it hurts, god) the wall.
  • have small hands and are really self-conscious about it.
  • love all the bigotry of the modern GOP, just not the religion.
  • are deaf except for racist dog whistles.
  • are white and proud to say you hate n-words, k-words, s-words, and any other racial slur you can think up.

then you should vote for short fingered vulgarian Donald Trump.

The Democratic Presidential Primary:

If you(r)…….

  • believe in fairies, unicorns, and that a socialist President could actually get anything passed through a Congress that blocked ideas that originated within their own party because they were suggested by Obama.
  • are a misogynistic Democrat.
  • believe that left wing versions of the House Freedom Caucus and the Tea Party are what the Democrats really need right now.
  • you believe Hillary has it in the bag but you want to vote a message to the Democratic party that we will be dragging the party back to the left.
  • have bought into the media (and GOP) narrative that HRC is the slimy survivor of a thousand scandals. (How dare she not just be a housewife when Bill was President!!!!  And they’ve thrown mud ever since.)
  • are feeling the Bern, even though you will gladly vote for HRC in the general if she is the candidate.
  • honestly think the FBI is going to indict her.  (Personally I think if there was actual evidence of wrong doing they wouldn’t have let her get this far in the primary.)
  • believe income inequality is the number one problem we are facing.

then you should vote for Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

 

If you(r)….

  • do not feel we have the votes currently for a complete political revolution.
  • want to maintain the gains we have made while slowly fighting for more while we change the party from the ground up.
  • believe the neo-confederacy is the major problem at this moment, stretching from the bigotry shown to blacks by the police, to loud and proud bigotry directed towards Muslims and Hispanics, to the legalization of discrimination of members of the GLBT community, to the war on a woman’s right to control her own body and her reproductive freedom.
  • think we should stay the course fiscally for a few more years and see if the economy keeps improving.
  • are incredibly curious as to what they will call Bill if HRC becomes President.  First Man?  First Husband?  When they say “President Clinton!” will they both go “What?”  Come on, tell me you are not dying to know how that is going to work.

Then you should vote for former Secretary of State and Senator Hillary Clinton.

A few things quick.  There are a few points in the Sanders column that are negatives.  Needless to say, I do not believe every Bernie voter is a misogynistic Democrat or ideological purists who refuse to compromise.  Unfortunately, some times you need to call a spade a spade, and this election is definitely one of those times with so much outright bigotry on the GOP side.  There are some Democrats who are voting for Sanders because HRC has a vagina.  Hopefully it is a very small amount, but their are some out there.  It also seems that some Sanders supporters think the extreme ideological purity and refusal to compromise shown by the House Freedom Caucus and other Tea Party members is something to envy and foster on the left.  This is straight up painful to me.  There are things about the Tea Party that we should emulate.  They showed that it is possible to move the positions of your party, and that the threat of a primary opponent is incredible leverage once they realize the threat is not hollow.  They also were quickly astroturfed over and guided by the nose by some *cough*Koch*cough* mysterious force, and the uncompromising nature of the House Freedom Caucus provides a great example of how to know when you are doing it wrong.  Like it or not, our system of government demands compromise.

Anyway, just because I wrote a bad reason under Sanders, don’t think I believe all his voters have the same reasons.  Hell, I still may be voting for Sanders in the primary.  I’m leaning HRC, and I honestly believe she is the most qualified, but voting a message to the party is mighty tempting to push her as far to the left as I can.  And no matter what, either of them get my vote immediately in the general.

Oh, and FBVI?  Federal Bureau of Vaginal Investigations.  Duh.