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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Greatest Advice You Will Ever Receive

"You cannot look to other people in your life to make you happy. Period. And you cannot let other people make you unhappy. Let's just say you married some bastard who's cheating on you, man or woman, and so then it makes you unhappy. No, it should not make you unhappy. Get rid of them. Get them out of your life. I had somebody tell me the other day they had a sister who was ragging on their ass, and they got tired of it and they said 'to preserve my own self-esteem and self-respect, I stopped talking to her.' End of story. I mean, man, it's just ridiculous. That's why people have been going to shrinks, drinking, taking pills, and all that. You're waiting around for Prince Charming to come riding in on a white horse, he ain't comin'. And if your parents were jerks, they were jerks. Move on."--Don Imus, from the May 8, 2014 airing of "Imus in the Morning"

With rumours swirling that Imus will soon be leaving his Fox Business morning show and, in doing so, ending a storied radio and television career spanning 43 years, I have taken some time to look back on the past 14 months I have spent watching his morning show and the times and circumstances which were prevalent then and now. In the year 2014, Imus and his show gave both a reassuring face and an in control voice to a very difficult personal period in my life. I was dealing with the deadeningly hopeless state of affairs that was my friendship with a local woman(I won't name names, though some may know who I'm talking about if they know me personally), not to mention the subsequent fallout of my choice to(Spoiler alert) end that friendship. This person made a point to lie at every opportunity and promptly lose her shit whenever I would ask questions or outright call her out on her, to put it very mildly, tall tales. Lots of empty promises were made. Now, I believed a lot of those empty promises, mainly because I felt that if I believed them, then they would actually come to fruition. About a month earlier, we got into a verbal 'confrontation' over a couple of her loftier promises, whereby she told me that maybe she would keep her word, and maybe she wouldn't. I only bothered listening to those last two words and audibly and exasperatedly muttered "whatever," to her obvious disgust. By this Thursday morning, with my faith and my respect totally shot to pieces, I was not often finding myself in communication with her.

I don't remember much about the 5/8/14 airing of "Imus in the Morning" aside from, sometime in the 7 AM hour, Imus saying that, at the top of the hour, he would be giving us "the best advice you will ever receive." My interest was sufficiently piqued, so I stayed alert and tuned in to see what he was going to say(not like I was going to be tuning out, anyway). I was very blown away when I heard those words, and I knew instantly how they applied to my situation. Saving the recording of his show, I watched it again later and wrote down, word for word, everything that he said for posterity's sake. Needless to say, this piece of advice, though not directly pertinent to my exact situation, gave me a lot to think about and ultimately helped move me in the direction of cutting this friend off(a mere nine days after I heard this advice). She may very well now be pulling strings to sabotage my friendship with her grand-daughter(there's only a few years of age difference between myself and the latter), proving my long-held belief that people are only mere Chess pieces in her perverse and twisted life's game, but I still have no regrets about my decision to cease all association with her.

I would like to sincerely thank Mr. Imus for issuing this timely and needful advice. Your show was and is absolutely great(I have loved it since Summer 2002, when my mother would watch it in the Morning before I would go off to Summer School), and it was my love of the show that got me to go to the 'I Heart Radio' website when I was away from television and listen to it there. I will miss it, you, and all of the show's crew members if you do, in fact, go off the air in the next few weeks.

My best regards to the I-man.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

An Argument For Expanding the Electoral College Down to the State, County, & City Level

People have been arguing in favour of a national popular vote for many decades, but particularly since the Bush versus Gore fiasco in 2000. Not only do I support keeping the Electoral College on the federal level, but I also support instituting Electoral College-type systems on the state and local levels.

This is something I have given considerable thought to. National elections have come down to a select few states(Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia), and it will continue to stay that way even if our system of elections were moved to a national popular vote, as the parties know not only where their bread is buttered, but also by whom it is buttered. The smaller states need to retain their influence if we are to be a free society with leaders chosen by the many, and not an enslaved and polarized society with leaders chosen by the few.

The purpose of the Electoral College is to give small states more say in the Presidential election, as 3 electoral votes out of 538 has a lot more influence than does a state of 125,000 trying to determine the course of a nation of 330,000,000. This was the desire and vision of the founders. Unfortunately, it now seems that the voices of the National Popular Vote movement would have willingly fought against them in the American Revolution. Before we go any further, whose words would you be more inclined to listen to: The Founding Fathers or the voices of a fringe political movement? I thought so.


On the state level, each county is given a certain number of electoral votes based on population. That means, in my state, the counties of Glascock and Taliaferro would have the least number of electoral votes and one of the metro-Atlanta counties(Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton, Gwinnett) would have the greatest number. How many total electoral votes would be best determined by the legislature, with input from population and regional experts. On the local level, counties would be divided up into regions and cities divided up into wards and a certain number of electoral votes awarded to certain regions/wards based on population levels.

Now take my state of Georgia. Elections on the state level are beginning to come down to a few key counties in the Atlanta Metropolitan area(Cobb, Douglas, Gwinnett, Henry, Newton). Outside of key metropolitan area counties(Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Colombus, Dalton, Gainesville, Macon, Millegeville, Rome, Savannah), most counties have fairly low populations. The Electoral College system gives a stronger voice to rural, low-population counties, which include the Liberal bastions of Taliaferro County and those mainly rural counties between Colombus and Macon.

There are many ways to do the electoral vote counts per county, but I know one way which won’t work, and that is giving an even sum of votes to every county. For the sake of argument, lets say 5 electors per county, as most counties have 4 elected Commissioners and an elected Chairman, which, as it pertains to this writing, tees off of the notion of 2 Senators and 14 Congressmen accounting for 16 electoral votes, as it does in GA. Given the vast advantage Republicans have with counties, that would stack the deck in their favour, even in places like the West Coast and New York. By that same token, the deck would be irrevocably stacked in the Democrats’ favour in almost all of New England. Experts on county-by-county population growth and non-partisan political strategists should be consulted as to how such a system would be constructed.


Using the ATL metro counties of Clayton, DeKalb, Fulton, and Henry as an example, we break down the counties into their various regions.

Clayton County:

The Public School district map drawers have the right idea here, but some revisions need to be made to this map in order to gel with my idea of a Clayton County Electoral College.

1. North Clayton--This combines Districts 4, 8, & 9, and includes the cities of Forest Park & Lake City, the unincorporated communities of Conley, Ellenwood, and Rex, and the area around Hartsfield Jackson International Airport. This would have the (very close)second-largest share of electoral votes in the County.

2. Metro Clayton--Combines districts 5, 6, & most of 7, taking in the red area west of State Road 54 and the green area north of Lake Jodeco Road, and includes the cities of Jonesboro and Morrow, as well as the area around Lake Spivey. Given the population, this one would have the largest share of electoral votes in Clayton County.

3. West Clayton--Combines districts 2 & 3, taking in the purple ares south of both Fayetteville Road and Mundy Mill Road, and includes the city of Riverdale. On population(not land-mass) grounds, this one would contain the third-largest share of the electoral votes.

4. South Clayton--All of district 1 plus purple areas south of Lake Jodeco and Poston Roads, and includes parts of Jonesboro, the whole city of Lovejoy, and the unincorporated communities of Bonanza, Hastings, and Irondale. On size, this one SHOULD be at least #3 in EV's, but it is also the least populous & more rural part of the county. While still containing a fair sum of EV's, it would have to be dead last among the 4, but, given the somewhat more rural nature of the Southern-most tier of the county mixed in with the urban areas towards Jonesboro and Lovejoy, this would have more potential to be a swingier set of electoral votes than the other 3(if Democrats lost any of the other 3, they would have some BIG problems).

DeKalb County:

The Public School district mappers have the right idea here in this proposed map(at the time of release, at least), but revisions must be made to this map in order to gel with my idea of a DeKalb County Electoral College.

1. North DeKalb--All of district 1, encompassing the cities of Chamblee, Doraville, Dunwoody, and North Atlanta. This one would contain the (very close)third-largest share of electoral votes in the County.

2. Metro DeKalb--Encompasses all of district 2, the white section, the northern-most tier of district 3(yellow), and the part of district 4(green) inside Interstate 285, and includes the cities and communities of Atlanta, Avondale Estates, Belvedere Park, Brookhaven, Decatur, North Decatur, Druid Hills, North Druid Hills, East Atlanta, and Scottdale. On population grounds, this one would have the largest share of electoral votes.

3. East DeKalb--Encompasses all of districts 6 & 7, plus the part of district 4 outside Interstate 285, and includes the cities and communities of Clarkston, Glen Haven, Pine Lake, Redan, Stone Mountain, and Tucker. This would have the (very close)second-largest share of electoral votes in the County based on population alone.

4. South DeKalb--Encompasses all of district 5 plus most of district 3, and includes the cities and communities of Belmont, Bouldercrest, Candler-McAfee, Cedar Grove, Constitution, Gresham Park, Klondike, Lithonia, Panthersville, and Snapfinger. This one would, contrary to its size making it one of the bigger electoral regions of the County, have easily the least numerical share of electoral votes.

Fulton County: Central Fulton, encompassing the heart of Atlanta, would have far and away the most electoral votes in a county-wide election. Southern Fulton and Northern Fulton would have to, due to population considerations, be broken into two different vote municipalities. The areas which include the cities of College Park, East Point, Fairburn, Hapeville, Palmetto, and Union City would be called “South Metro,” and would itself have a sizable share of electoral votes. The more rural part of South Fulton, which includes the cities of Campbellton and Chattahoochee Hills, would have a lesser share of votes. The areas in Northern Fulton which include the cities of Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Ocee, Roswell, and Sandy Springs would be called “North Metro,” and would itself contain a sizable number of electoral votes. The more rural part of North Fulton, which includes the cities of Birmingham, Crabapple, Milton, and Mountain Park, would have a lesser share of votes.

Henry County: The county, which I cop to having a more intimate knowledge of than the others(having actually lived there in the somewhat distant past), would be very simply divided four ways in a county-wide Electoral College. Four for each incorporated city in the county(Hampton, Locust Grove, McDonough, & Stockbridge). Stockbridge, being the most populous city, would have the greatest share of electoral votes(sector would include such communities as Dutchtown, a portion of the Clayton County-based community Ellenwood, Flippen, and Kelleytown, as well as the areas around Lake Spivey and Berry Hill Airport), with McDonough, the county seat, following close behind(sector would include such communities such as Blacksville and Ola). Hampton, home of the Atlanta Motor Speedway, takes third in EV shares(sector would also include the area around Tara Field Airport), and Locust Grove, home of the Tanger Outlets Centre, placing a respectable fourth in EV's(sector would also include the community of Luella).

An alternate way of doing a county-wide Electoral College system would be to issue some number of electoral votes to precincts within the county borders, with both early-voting precincts and precincts in the more densely populated areas having the greatest number of electoral votes. That said, this is another discussion for another day.

Speculation regarding the total number of County electors should wait until census-takers, population analysts, and re-apportioners weigh in and come forward with key findings. It would perhaps be ill-advised to base the number of either state, county, or city electoral votes based on the national system of 538 EV's.


A city-wide Electoral College, using Atlanta as an example, would involve the same principles as a county-wide Electoral College. We break the city down into its individual regions and assign electoral votes based on population. The regions of Atlantic Station, Buckhead, Chastain Park, Downtown, Midtown, and Perimeter would have the largest share of electoral votes. Capitol View, Grant Park, Paces, Piedmont Heights, and Poncey-Highland would be in the middle-tier with regards to share of electoral votes. Adamsville, Joyland, Mechanicsville, Pine Hills, Southwestern, and Underwood Hills would receive a lesser share of electoral votes, but would likely still have a fair number given dense population in the Atlanta area.

You could probably also divide the city into its individual precincts, as well, and assign electoral votes that way. Again, a discussion for another day.

Something to consider for your Easter Sunday.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

BREAKING: John McCain Exposes Himself at Town Hall Meeting

In a disgusting and shocking display sure to cause questions regarding the Senator's mental state as he prepares for a re-election fight, John McCain was seen exposing himself at a town hall meeting featuring him and fellow AZ Republican Senator Jeff Flake. According to bystanders, McCain had been behaving as though he was off his medications all through the meeting, erratically ranting about subjects ranging from the Ayatollah to Obama's arming of the Islamic State to keeping up with the Kardashians to why he(and neither John Lennon nor Paul McCartney) is, in fact, the Walrus. It was when he was fielded a question regarding his own seeming inability to vote against the wishes of defence contractors that he totally freaked out, shouting "Oh, you want MANHOOD? WELL THEN, I'LL SHOW YOU SOME MANHOOD." The Senator then reached into his pants and pulled out his member, not realizing until it was too late that there wasn't much to pull out. McCain promptly lost his balance and fell backwards onto his rear end, to the abject shock and horror of the crowd.

Senator Jeff Flake(R-AZ), who was sitting near McCain when the incident took place, gave his own observations on the incident: "I saw nothing. Really, I thought I saw him reaching into what I thought was his front pocket and pulling out what looked like a dog treat. Hey, there WERE pets in the crowd. Seeing pictures and news reports from the event was quite surreal and very confusing. I would never have expected this kind of press bias of an event as seemingly personal and sad as this one." Almost immediately after he offered his observations, his claims collapsed under considerable media cross-examination and #FlakeOut quickly became a top trender on Twitter as a result.

Almost immediately, Real estate magnate and leading 2016 GOP Presidential prospect Donald Trump added his own, ah, unique thoughts on the situation: "Who's to say that wasn't a decoy? Documentation, people! Personally, I blame Obama. That man will do ANYthing to distract us from his declaring martial law and cancelling elections in our country. SHAMEFUL!"

Vice President Joe Biden, who was sauntering back to the White House after a day of jet skiing in the Reflecting Pool at the Washington Monument, issued a brief statement on the matter of McCain: "When I told him to 'gird his loins,' I never thought he'd take it seriously. I was practically joking when I said that. You'd think he'd have figured that out, but I guess not. You have to admit, though--Pretty funny. I tried that with the wife of one of our freshman Senators, and all that got me was a rather surprisingly enthusiastic recommendation to Bellevue. Sigh, some people are just TOUCHY about these things."

Bill Clinton chimed in with his observations: "That's no way to pick up the ladies. Senator McCain needs to consult somebody who knows a thing or two about these matters." (*wink, wink*)

TMZ caught up with the Senator to ask him a few probing questions regarding recent events. On the events from earlier today: "Hey, you know, things happen. I need not remind you of that time one of your reporters got drunk, came onto me, and pounded on my office door until 4 in the morning. But, you know, I like to look on the bright side of things. That incident is the most 'action' I've personally either seen or felt since Vietnam, and it was quite a thrill. Who knows, maybe I should do a stripping routine at one of Washington DC's area night clubs." After the reporter begged him and pleaded with him to not go through with such behaviour, the Senator was asked about how things were going between him and Senator Lindsey Graham(R-SC) almost one year into their marriage. The Senator replied: "How does one sum up the best year of his life? I would say that it has been absolutely, positively splendiferous! How can it be explained any other way? Lindsey is the best thing that has ever happened to me, not counting, of course, being released from prison in Vietnam. He and I share similar views of the world, on music, and on fine dining. He also really knows how to love a man and make him feel young again, but I digress." When asked about his ex-wife Cindy, McCain replied "Oh, she's actually been very supportive of Lindsey and I in our relationship. This old man just couldn't deliver the goods, whether it was old age, the war wound down there, or whatever. I do know for a fact that she's seeing lots of other men. I hear Senator Tom Cotton(R-AR) gives her lemon butter baths in the Senate Bathroom Suite. She used to go out with Senator Cruz, but apparently ObamaCare's not the only thing he's flip-flopped on, if you get my drift."

"Poor old Chuck Schumer," McCain added before leaving for his Old Western-themed date night with Senator Graham. "He recently had the misfortune of walking in on them at 3 AM a few nights ago as they were trying to, you know, 'have children.' You'd think he would have learned what the 'Keep Out' sign meant, but I guess not."

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Stone Me, I Must Be Dreaming: Why My New Idea for CNN Programming is a Sure Winner

Much speculation has abounded in recent days that CNN will hire Comedian Jon Stewart to fill the yet-to-be acceptably filled 9 PM time slot, which has been in total disarray since Piers Morgan was sacked in 2013. Why they don't hire Morgan back on I don't know, but I digress. As you may well have heard, Stewart announced late last week that he is departing Comedy Central's "The Daily Show." In an era where the 'trusted' likes of Brian Williams and Dan Rather are lying to you through their teeth, comedians have had the thankless task reporting the news to you with their humourous, slightly(or not-so-slightly) twisted spin on things. But why Stewart, and why on CNN? It seems to me that he would be better suited for, if we're going to go the cable news route, MSNBC, where he can replace Chris Matthews' second, needless, 7 PM hour. Or maybe even that comically, misleadingly titled network called 'Headline News.' Now to CNN's quandary. If they wanted to make a more even schedule, they would consider replacing Wolf Blitzer's(who I hear is on his way out, anyway) needless second, 6 PM hour. They used to have, from 6:30-7 PM, a modernized re-constitution of "Crossfire," which was some comedy in its own right. So what I'm thinking is two hosts whose main purpose it is to crack jokes at news stories, politicians, celebrities, fellow on-air talent, and even themselves. This is so genius I don't know why I didn't think of this one earlier. Really, I ought to just smack myself. As for the hosts, well, I cannot think of a better pairing than...

Donald Trump, host of "The Apprentice" and former host of "Saturday Night Live."


Andrew Dice Clay, comic impresario of "Nursery Rhymes" fame.

The Donald & The Dice Man---Comic duo for the ages?? You decide.

While ratings have improved in recent months, CNN has still needed a ratings kick in the ass for a good long while now, and what better an idea than this one to get those ratings up(Seriously, how's over-exposing The Blitz workin' out for you?). Two eminent, revered entities in their fields going at it on national television, and at dinner time, no less. How can you possibly lose(though, knowing CNN, they just might find a way)? Now there's the matter of show titles. Every good show(and this one's a born classic) has to have a good title, am I right? There may well be better show title ideas out there, but these which I came up with are, IMO, the very best:

1. Dice Trump
2. CNN Newsroom with Donald Trump & Andrew Dice Clay
3. Donald & Dice(and everything nice)
4. In the Ring with the Donald and the Dice Man

Ideal theme music: Dee Dee King's "The Crusher."(works best with the #1, #3, and #4 title ideas--CNN Newsroom is its own separate entity)

And let's just imagine, for a moment, the witty repartee that would ensue in such a dynamic:

Donald: "I'd HIRE her!"
Dice Man: "Yeah, I'd do her...for laffs. Ya know, as a little palate cleanser on my way to the big leagues."

Donald: "Wasn't that just the most biased, slanted, pathetic, awful interview you've ever seen, Dice Man?"
Dice Man: "With the way Andy's kissin' up to Obama, you have to wonder, and the way Obama smiled at him and laughed with him, jeez...Should we start calling Obama's place the "Ovarian Office"? I mean, with all the riotous sex those two fagalas are havin', you have to wonder, don't we, Donny?"
Donald: "Yes, I dare say we do."

Dice Man: "That Erin Burnett, she's a real hottie. Yeah, I'd take her out back for a little 'rendezvous with destiny.' That rich, white husband of hers ain't got nothin' on the Dice Man! Ow!"
Donald: "I gave that girl her big break. I made her what she is today. I'll take you out back and beat you like a little boy if I ever hear you say that again."
Dice Man: "Sheesh, what are ya, Donny, sleepin' with her?"
Donald: *wry facial expression*
Dice Man: "Donny and Erin sittin' in a tree..."

Dice Man: "I tell ya, Donny, this Miss America they got goin' here just ain't cuttin' it for me. Not only is my cheese not whizzin', but she also looks and walks like a MAN! I mean, seriously, who runs this crap chute?"
Donald: "I do, Dice Man."
Dice Man: "Really!? Then why dont'cha try givin' us some sexier, more jigglesome broads. Ya know, somethin' I can get myself worked up over. Or how about ya start out by givin' us some REAL broads to look at?"
Donald: "Why, I oughta..."

Dice Man: "In the news today, an Oregon man was hospitalized after using too much hair-regrowth product. And here to talk about this is our resident hair growth expert Donny Trump. Hi, Donny!"
Donald: "Where do you of NO hair get off joking about MY hair?"
Dice Man: "I'll show ya REAL hair, Donny!"
*(Turns his back to the camera and drops his pants)*
Donald: "I'm...impressed."

Dice Man: "The President gave a news conference today...Say, Donny, weren't you gonna run for President last time, and the time before that?"
Donald: "I would have if those tabloid trash-talkers hadn't threatened to release pictures of my Grandson's circumcision. SAD!"
Donald: "Yes, Dice." *scowls*

Donald: "I have HAD IT with your jokes about my hair and my manhood, Dicey! If I had run for and been elected President, carrying all 50 states, I wouldn't have to deal with this. I'd be making life MISERABLE for Kim Jong Un, China, the Islamic State, and Iran right now! But NO, I have to deal with all THIS bullshit!"
Dice Man: "Calm down, Donny! Don't flip a wig. All I said was it takes some serious nads to put yourself through the ringer the way these guys do."
*The Donald plows into the Dice Man, in the process knocking CNN's cameras over, causing millions of televisions across America to go to black*
Erin Burnett: "Out front tonight, President Gilmore issues a press conference calling on Congress to pass a declaration of war against the Islamic State. Will they act on his request? Let's go out front!"

This is CNN? You bet!

A sure-fire ratings success, perhaps even netting ratings unseen since the Gulf War. CNN would be stupid to pocket veto(or otherwise veto) this idea. This, and not the third hour of Wolf Blitzer, is how you leave Fox Noise, MSNBC, Headline 'News,' and the major networks in the dust! News with a comic twist always wins with today's key demographics. Just ask Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Larry Wilmore, Bill Maher, and John Oliver. These comic paragons have made their livings on funnily reporting the news.

Your thoughts.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

NOVEL Idea--NBC Nightly News with Donald Trump?

With brickbats flying at Brian Williams over numerous allegations of his over-blowing stories on late night television, the time has come to consider a replacement for him in the event that he permanently steps down from the nightly news(as of this afternoon, he has temporarily stepped down). NBC News has a barn stable of talent who would be clamouring for such an opening as this one, but here's a question to ponder: Have any of these reporters really proven themselves to be anchor-material? Savannah Guthrie is nice to look at and she did all right interviewing the President, but I don't think she's ready for the big leagues. Matt Lauer is seen as too much of a cable news bad boy to be seriously considered for the Nightly News. Al Roker? Hoda Kotb? Please. Here's a novel idea: How about taking the host of one of the highest rated shows and one of the most visible faces on and of your network and put him in the anchor slot? He's a man who has a long history of showing fairness and balance in handling people, which would translate well in reporting the news and lending credibility to your network. Who is this man, you ask?

Donald J. Trump, Sr., host of NBC's "The Apprentice" and perhaps the ideal candidate for anchor of the NBC Nightly News?

Someone who has made the news for over a quarter-century really should be given a chance to report on it, especially a man of such journalistic and otherwise integrity as Mr. Trump. In his hosting duties on "The Apprentice," he has shown the ability to be fair and balanced in his decision making(Fox News could learn a thing or two from The Donald). He has had to deal with many of the big names from Hollywood and television on his show and in person(professionally & personally), which gives him a background in the entertainment side of things. His business dealings outside the network give him an edge over most others in domestic and world affairs(political and non). NBC could also use a man who bursts with personality and connects with the people(a quality lacking since Tom Brokaw exited stage left in December, 2004), and Donald Trump is nothing if not bursting with personality and richly and uniquely able to connect with the average American. Since he doesn't need the money(he can more than handle the pay cut), NBC News executives need to be prepared to give him anything he wants, even if it involves laying brick or doing roof work at one of his many mansions, hotels, and/or casinos.

If hired, transitioned, or whatnot, the Trump era at NBC Nightly News would be one for the history books for the way it re-defined the modern newscast and simultaneously the modern Presidential campaign & debate. He would be the first man to both run for President and host a major nightly network news program. In such a position, he could prosecute his Primary and his General Election case to the American people via newscast. He would not have to go down in the trenches and actually stump and greet people who may or may not actually end up voting for him, and he would be able to reach more people in that medium. He could interview the other candidates for President on any given night's airing. He could moderate the debates featuring the other candidates for President and grill them on their positions, consistent and /or evolved. No candidate could duck either an interview or a debate with him, lest they look as though they were hiding something. He could also, after the inevitably smashing electoral success, continue to anchor the Nightly News out of his executive residence in either the White House or, in the likelier scenario, out of Trump Tower in Downtown Manhattan, New York City, and, in doing so, pitch his legislative and executive goals to the public and give his critics a blasting the likes of which are unseen in the modern era of politics. The ratings would be HUGE!

Here's hoping that NBC is serious enough in their pursuit of new talent in the as of now prospective post-Williams era to take my idea into serious consideration...

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Thoughts on Mitt Romney and the Republican Race Going Forward

Last Friday morning, former Governor of Massachusetts, 2008 GOP Presidential Primary runner-up, and 2012 GOP Presidential nominee Mitt Romney stunned the political world by announcing that he would not be throwing his hat into the 2016 ring. The nomination had seemed his for the taking, what with his rocketing to the top of the pack upon his initial expressment of interest in the race, leading his closest opponent, Dr. Ben Carson, 2:1(20%-10%) in national polling. His folding, like his non-entrance before it, seriously shakes up an already stirred GOP field.

At this time, there is no clear front-runner in what looks to be even more of a clown-car fight than most see 2012 as being(it wasn't, but whatever). Former Florida Governor and political dynast Jeb Bush leads in Primary polling, but his lead is tepid, holding at 16%, less than Romney's 20% a few weeks ago and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's 25% in late 2013. Bringing up the rear are Christie and former Arkansas Governor, 2008 GOP Presidential Primary contender, and television and radio talk show host Mike Huckabee, plus such Conservative flash candidacies as Carson, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. This is the kind of weaksauce opposition Romney would have utterly obliterated on his way to the nomination, which leads this author to believe that there is something more to his decision to fold than just exhaustion and family concerns after a full decade of campaigning. The tenor of his announcement made it clear that he wants anybody but Jeb Bush to be the nominee, but who of the niche, uninspired field is there to stop him? Based on social networking posts made in the past few days, there can only be one man on Romney's mind who he would have taking the extraordinary step of deferring to in the hope of beating Bush...

Donald John Trump, Senior--Billionaire Real Estate tycoon, Chairman and namesake of Trump Enterprises, and perhaps the GOP's saviour in 2016?

Donald Trump is one of the most visible and revered men in business, in America, and in the world, which puts him in a unique position apart from any other prospective GOP candidate(especially more than, say, Jeb Bush). His is a name and brand that is regarded as embodying the very best of the American way. Donald Trump, as a man of business, has seen the world as few others have, and his positions and concerns about America are informed accordingly. His business trips to China have given him a unique perspective on not only the Communism-based Chinese economy, but also on matters pertaining to how the Chinese treat the workers who are only barely keeping their unsustainable economic train from de-railing. His dealings with foreign leaders on matters of business gives him insight into various free trade agreements and the positives and negatives that entail them. He has been very vocal about our pressing need to stamp out the scourge that is ISIS, al-Qaeda, and China. His leadership of one of the world's biggest and most recognized chains of resorts and casinos makes him more than qualified to be President, which is more than can be said for many of the candidates who comprise the present 2016 field. Also, having brought many children into this world, Trump knows the value and importance of protecting every human life from Liberal and Libertarian encroachments in the shape of a coat hanger.

Mr. Trump has made many previous noises about running for President, most notably in 1988, 2000, and 2012. However, every indication I have gotten from closely watching him this time around tells me that he is very serious in pursuing a bid. He has been going to key Primary states and giving speeches to packed venues and to riotous applause and acclamation. He has sat down with local and national television, radio, and print news stations for interviews pertaining to his views on key policy issues of the day, and in doing so becoming a lightning rod for controversy due to his characteristic, but needed, bluntness. The icing on the cake was a tweet he posted just after Romney folded: “Now that Mitt is gone, all we have to do is get Bush to drop out and Trump to run." Hmmmmm...

Trump has the visibility and the resources to clear the field of most comers, but one doesn't even need to use either of those as barometers of his ability to clear the field once he jumps in. Just look at the weak, flash-in-the-pan nature of all the other candidates considering a run. John McCain, even in his worst moments, could consistently put up better GOP Primary numbers than Jeb Bush can in his best moments. Chris Christie's too scandal tarred to be seriously considered as a nominee. Mike Huckabee wrote the foreword for Todd Akin's book, and, if nominated, would be just one foot-in-mouth moment away from political oblivion for both himself and his beloved party, not to mention that his having pardoned people who went on to kill police officers will take a none too small bite out of him(then again, who would notice if it did?). Marco Rubio's going nowhere--he's essentially just loitering on the 2016 scene. Everyone else is over-hyped, base Conservative wet dreams which will never happen in one million years. There's nobody who really inspires, or is even particularly inspired about running. When Trump inevitably takes the plunge, the likes of Bush, Ben Carson, Christie, Ted Cruz, Bobby Jindal, Rubio, and Scott Walker will soon be out of the race(their predictable protestations to the contrary notwithstanding--they may last a debate or, if they're masochistic enough, two before sulking off in total humiliation) and solidly in Trump's corner. Oh yeah, Huckabee and Paul might linger for a while. They'll always appeal to their niche audiences. Combined, they probably won't even get double digits in any Primary or Caucus against The Donald. In short, Trump's the only man who can unify both the establishment and the grassroots in their efforts to win back the White House. His General Election prospects will be discussed in a later posting.

So that's pretty much where things stand as of February 4, 2015, and given Trump's time proven brand-durability and his uniquely positive standing with the citizens of America and the world, such is not likely to change at any point between now and when the GOP Primary process is wrapped up in Spring, 2016. The only real contest regards who he will pick as his VP, which I will also detail in a later posting. The Democratic nominee(I don't care what ANYBODY says, it will not be Hillary Clinton. It remains to be seen if she even bothers with an almost certainly futile bid) is sure to be a nervous shambles as he prepares to go headlong into the buzzsaw known to one and all as 'The Donald.'

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

6/3/14 AL, IA, MS, MT, NJ, NM, & SD Primary Preview


AL Governor GOP: Governor Robert Bentley is favoured to win over State Correctional Officer and former Morgan County Commissioner Stacy George.

AL Governor DEM: Based soley upon name recognition, former Congressman and legendary turncoat(he started out Democrat before switching to Republican, to Independent, and back to Democrat again) Parker Griffifth is modestly favoured over former pro-Basketball player Kevin Bass, though an upset cannot be ruled out.

AL Secretary of State GOP: This race features former Montgomery County Probate Judge Reese McKinney, Crenshaw County Probate Judge Jim Perdue, and State Representative John Merrill. Based upon geography alone, McKinney would seem to have an edge, but I'll cop to having no clue the true dynamics behind this one.

AL Auditor GOP: This race features colourful businessman Dale "cattle prod" Peterson, former Public Service Commissioner Jim Zeigler, former Assistant State Conservation Commissioner Hobbie Sealey, and Secretary of State Aide Adam Thompson. My hunch is that there will be a Runoff between Peterson, who has both enthusiasm and name recognition(for better or for worse) propelling his campaign, and Zeigler, who has mere name recognition behind his.

AL-5 GOP: Incumbent Republican Mo Brooks faces a challenge from former Athens, AL, City Councillor Jerry Hill. Brooks is heavily favoured going into tonight.

AL-6 GOP: The leading contenders for the seat of retiring Republican Spencer Bachus are Tea Party-backed Surgeon Chad Mathis, Corporate Executive Will Brooke, State Representative Paul DeMarco, and former State Senator and 2012 runner-up Scott Beason. This race will head to a certain Runoff, with Mathis and either DeMarco or Beason advancing.

AL-7 DEM: Incumbent Democrat Terri Sewell is facing a challenge from former Birmingham City Attorney Tamara Harris-Johnson. Sewell will win, but with maybe a little more difficulty than most expect.


IA Senate GOP: This competitive Primary features State Senator Joni Ernst, Energy Executive Mark Jacobs, Radio Talk Show Host Sam Clovis, and former US Attorney Matt Whitaker. If no one candidate gets over 35% of the vote, the Primary will then be decided at a Convention, a scenario which is unlikely to transpir, as Ernst has the momentum and recent polling has her only just short of the pivotal 35% threshold. Prediction: Ernst 39%, Clovis 28%, Whitaker 17%, and Jacobs 14%.

IA Governor GOP: Governor Terry Branstad is heavily favoured over Conservative activist Tom Hoefling.

IA-1 DEM: This one is a multi-car pileup between former State House Speaker Pat Murphy, former US Labour Department Official and 1988 nominee Dave O'Brien, Cedar Rapids City Councillor Monica Vernon, State Representative Anesa Kajtazovic, and former State Utilities Board Member Swati Dandekar. Murphy has the narrowest of advantages going into tonight.

IA-1 GOP: This one's a 3-way fight between 2008 Senate candidate and gun rights activist Steve Rathje, Software Company Owner Rod Blum, and Marshalltown School Board Member Gail Boliver. Rathje must be considered the favourite.

IA-2 GOP: This race appears to be a fight between State Representative Mark Lofgren and former State Public Health Director and 2008/2010 nominee Marianette Miller-Meeks. This one is very much a coin flip.

IA-3 GOP: The three main contenders for this race are State Senator and 2010 nominee Brad Zaun, Secretary of State Matt Schultz, and former Chief of Staff to Senator Chuck Grassley David Young. I give Schultz an advantage based on name recognition, though Zaun cannot be completely counted out.


MS Senate GOP: The battle royale of the night pits six term US Senator Thad Cochran against Tea Party-backed State Senator Chris McDaniel. Recent polling has shown both men exchanging narrow leads, whilst remaining mired in the low forties. In comes the third, and perhaps defining, factor: The candidacy of Realtor Tom Carey. While he is a sure loser tonight, he has been drawing a high enough level of support that he could trigger a Runoff. At this point, a Runoff seems very likely. Prediction: McDaniel 46%, Cochran 43%, Carey 11%.

MS Senate DEM: This is a decidedly low-key affair, but it has the potential to be interesting nonetheless. This race pits former Congressman Travis Childers against Tea Party Democrat, former Republican, and 2010/2012 MS-2 nominee Bill Marcy. This one could get interesting if there are enough Conservatives so disillusioned with both Cochran and McDaniel that they choose to vote for Marcy in the Democratic Primary. It is doubtful such will take place, though, and Childers is a solid favourite going into tonight.

MS-4 GOP: Centrist Republican Congressman Steven Palazzo faces a challenge from the Right in Hancock County Port Commissioner and former Democratic Congressman Gene Taylor. There is a decent likelihood that this race goes to a Runoff, as there are quite a few other Republicans running. Prediction: Taylor 47%, Palazzo 44%, Others 9%.


MT Senate DEM: The main contenders are interim Senator John Walsh and former Lieutenant Governor(and Walsh's predecessor in that office) John Bohlinger. Prediction: Walsh 52%, Bohlinger 43%, Rancher Dirk Adams 5%.

MT Senate GOP: This race pits Congressman and 2004 Gubernatorial nominee Steve Daines against State Representative Champ Edmunds. While Edmunds may poll formidably(read: 30s), Daines is still the solid favourite.

MT-AL GOP: The main contenders for this wide open race are former State Senate Minority Leader 2012 Gubernatorial runner-up Corey Stapleton, former State Senator Ryan Zinke, and State Senator Matt Rosendale. Stapleton probably is favoured based on name recognition.

MT-AL DEM: Former State House Speaker, former Public Service Commissioner, and 2008 nominee John "backpacking to nowhere" Driscoll and former Congressional staffer John Lewis are battling it out for this race. Driscoll seems to be the favourite based on name recognition.


NJ Senate GOP: The leading candidates are Consultant and 1978 nominee Jeff Bell and Professor, Ron Paul activist, and 2008 Senate candidate Murray Sabrin. This one is a coin flip, as Bell's been out of the scene for over 3 decades and Sabrin may have residual name recognition from his 2008 run, though Republicans are usually pretty averse to nominative Libertarian types.

NJ-1 DEM: In the race to succeed resigned Democratic Congressman Rob Andrews, State Senator and political scion Donald Norcross is the solid favourite over Logan Mayor Frank Minor.

NJ-1 GOP: Locally-renown Sportscaster Gary Cobb is in a tight fight with former Collingswood School Board Member Claire Gustafson for the right to lose to Donald Norcross in both the Special Election and the General Election.

NJ-2 GOP: Centrist Republican incumbent Frank LoBiondo faces a Primary challenge former Absecon School Board Member Mike Assad. LoBiondo is a certain victor.

NJ-2 DEM: Attorney and political scion Bill Hughes Jr. faces a test from former Obama White House Aide Dave Cole, a test he should pass with only marginal difficulty.

NJ-3 GOP: This one is trench warfare between two carpetbaggers: Former Bogota, NJ, Mayor, 2013 US Senate nominee, and 2009 Gubernatorial Primary runner-up Steve Lonegan and former Randolph, NJ, Mayor Tom MacArthur. This one is going to be really tight. Name recognition and enthusiasm favours Lonegan, while advertising and polling would seem to favour MacArthur.

NJ-12 DEM: This free-for-all for the seat of retiring Democrat Rush "my Congressman IS a Rocket Scientist" Holt has centred around two State Legislators: 2012 NJ-7 nominee Upendra Chivukula and Linda Greenstein. Given that it takes a stinker of a campaign to lose a center-left district in a Liberal banner year the likes of 2012, I would say Greenstein has the edge going into tonight.


NM Senate GOP: Former State GOP Chairman and 2010 Gubernatorial runner-up Allen Weh and former Dona Ana County GOP Chairman David Clements are running for the right to defeat Democratic Senator Tom Udall in November. This race may be somewhat close, but Weh has an advantage due to residual name recognition from his 2010 campaign.

NM Governor DEM: This bloody brawl pits Attorney General and political scion Gary King against State Senators Howie Morales and Linda Lopez, former Magazine Publisher and racist Alan Webber, and former Albuquerque, NM, Chief Administrative Officer Lawrence Rael. The two leaders of the pack are King, with his own name recognition plus that of his father, the late former New Mexico Governor Bruce King, and Webber, with his self-funding capabilities. This one could be an all-nighter.

NM-1 GOP: This race, between Businessmen Mike Frese and Richard Priem for the right to take down Democratic Congresswoman Michelle Lujan-Grisham, is hard to call one way or another. We'll just wait and see.


SD Senate GOP: Former Governor Mike Rounds is heavily favoured over State Senate majority Whip Larry Rhoden, State Representative Stace Nelson, and Physician Annette Bosworth.

SD Governor GOP: Governor Dennis Daugaard is solidly favoured to win over former State Representative Lora Hubbel.

SD Governor DEM: This race, for the right to lose in November, pits State Representative Susan Wismer against carpetbagging retired State Wildland Fire Suppression Director and former Mission Viejo, CA, Mayor Joe Lowe. Wismer is a modest favourite.

SD Secretary of State GOP: This race features State Senate Majority Whip Shantel Krebs and Deputy Secretary of State and former First Lady Pat Miller. Miller is at least a narrow favourite going into tonight.