Thursday, March 15, 2018

Russia and the Electoral College

Drumpf won the US presidency with less than 50% of the vote - 46%, actually, which amounted to
62,985,105 votes. Yet, despite having less than 50%, he won the election.

Yes, we're picking that old scab again - for a purpose.

Truth be told, HRC won less than 50% of the votes cast as well; 48% or  65,853,625 votes. HRC garnered nearly 3 million more votes than Drumpf, yet lost.
... old news, water over the dam, under the bridge and time marches on...

(n.b.There have been 10 other times when the winner got less than 50% of the popular vote in American history.)

The discussion regarding the effect of Russian interference has included whether or not Russian interference swayed voters either to vote for Drumpf or to stay home and protest the perceived lack of proper choice.  After all, 48% of the electorate did not vote at all in the presidential contest; 94,977,814 sat on the sidelines in disgust, disaffection or simple apathy.  7,804,213 other voters chose to protest by voting for Stein or other candidates.

However, it was not the popular vote that decided the election in Drumpf's favor, as is well known.  The election was decided by the Electoral College - that mystifying cabal of 'super-delegates' who, in spite of the popular vote, awarded the presidency to Drumpf.

It was a deep distrust of democracy amongst the more conservative Founding Fathers that spurred the creation of the Electoral College.  The Electors, it was determined, would serve to off-set and over-ride a misguided general voting population should a populist demagogue and possible tyrant be chosen.

There have been five times that the presidency was won by the candidate who lost the popular vote; three in the 19th Century, one in 20th and one in the 21st.

In 2016, the Electoral College, counter to its raison d'ĂȘtre, chose to adjudge the election in favor of the populist demagogue, Drumpf.
To the point...
It would be interesting to know if Mueller and his investigative team are examining the effect of Russian interference on the members of the Electoral College.
That was where the election was won and lost.
How the Russian interference might have influenced the woeful 25% of American voters to choose Drumpf as POTUS is of less importance.
The more germane question is; 

'Did Russian propaganda and  interference  influence members of the Electoral College?'

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The Dunnig-Kruger POTUS

Drumpf is a con-man.
(No, this isn't a reprint of the previous post. It just cannot be stated and emphasized enough.)

He has skirted legality all of his life. His mentor was the notorious Mafia lawyer, Roy Cohn (of McCarthy Red-Scare infamy). He's never been on the 'up and up' when it didn't suit him and he has a well-deserved reputation amongst his fellow oligarchs for dishonesty and fraud.

It has puzzled me ever since his announcement to run in 2016; a decision which was seen as farcical, promising a 'Grand Guignol' of gruesome political buffoonery.
Why would Drumpf run?
Why jeopardize a gaudy, opulent, vain-glorious, vacuous life-style of extravagant ostentation so as to win the presidency?

Certainly, such a win would bolster his over-inflated ego. That is completely understandable; as a malignant narcissist and poster-child for the Dunning-Kruger Effect , Drumpf would be forever eager for yet another self-aggrandizing achievement. A defeat, on the other hand, would be devastating to mere mortals of overweening ambition.

My puzzlement remains this: with his host of high-priced and assumedly loyal attorneys, did none of them - or any of his cadre of advisors - point out that his disreputable past and his under-handed and out-right criminal dealings would come under scrutiny?

The Oval Office was designed to insinuate transparency; there are no dark corners to hide in. Skeletons in the closet are 'outed' and made to dance in the glare of public scrutiny. Special investigators over-turn every rock and sift the soil for corruption. Examples of such investigations are easy to reference. Heading the list are Nixon, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Gary Hart, etc.

Did not the extensive (and at times pathetic and comedic) interrogation of Hillary Clinton about the Benghazi tragedy and "her damn emails" give the Drumpfen-putz pause?
It should have.
But it didn't.
(Was he prompted by an agency other than his bloated, manic ego?)

Before even attaining the office of POTUS, he had hit his first legal obstacle; Mike Flynn as National Security Advisor. With juvenile contempt of all-things-Obama, Drumpf seemingly ignored the warnings by the out-going administration about Flynn's acting as an registered foreign agent. Drumpf, in truly Drumpfian fashion, then exacerbated that error by firing FBI Director Comey which drove him deeper into the rabbit hole from which emerged Robert Mueller's appointment as Special Prosecutor.
Mueller, the man who brought down the 'Teflon Don', John Gotti, is hot on the trail and has sniffed out the corruption and criminal conspiracies on which Drumpf has based his sordid and unscrupulous life. As a New Yorker who has rubbed elbows with the Mafia, Drumpf is keenly aware that his days are numbered. Let's hope that number is a small, rational one.

(p.s. That the GOP did not vet this bilious sack of offal before the RNC convention is one that leadership will rue until the party ceases to be.)

Thursday, March 8, 2018

You Were Hornswoggled. Admit it...

Like the man said:
"Are you going to believe a porn star who has nothing to lose by telling the truth, or a Trump who has everything to lose by telling the truth?" (Mr Roberts)

Drumpf is a con-man. 

It's a hard thing to admit that one has been conned...
I understand that. I hate to admit that I bought into the Gerald Ford campaign. (My rationale was that I was living on the tender mercies and forbearance of a Republican family.  I took some small consolation in his defeat.) 

Whew... I feel better now with that off my chest...
A very bitter pill to swallow...
A pill the size of Chinese kohlrabi.

Nevertheless, at some point, for the sake of your own sanity, (and I know that I'm addressing a very narrow audience here), you're going to have to come to terms with the fact that you made a mistake. Invent your own excuse. I did about Gerald Ford and you can do it, too, about Drumpfen-putz.

Drumpf is a con-man. 

That's his whole shtick. That and golf. My mind reels at the thought of all the people he's hornswoggled on the golf course.  It's well-known that he cheats at golf - all the time. On every hole, it's been said. Would you play 'closest-to-the-hole' with this guy for money? (I've now further limited my audience...)

Drumpf is a con-man. 

He's a veteran, seasoned liar of world-class reputation.
'Trump University'? Please...
He's a high-functioning psychopath; charming, lacking empathy, manipulative, conniving...
Did I mention; lacking any sense of propriety, being ethically untethered and morally unmoored?

Drumpf is a con-man. 

I would bet you dollars to doughnuts that little Donnie was running scams while still in short pants. (That's old fogey-speak for 'being a little kid'.)
But I digress...

One doesn't need to speculate. One only has to address the main fact; a fact substantiated by hundreds of column inches in both reputable journals and supermarket tabloids of the Drumpfster's sordid life and nefarious acquaintances. There is endless video footage of the life-style of the rich and egregious, Donald J.

Drumpf is a con-man.

America! You've been conned. I say 'you' because I wasn't fooled for a minute. I'm not being judgmental. You got conned. Happens to the best of us at some point. We fall for the packaging and later find out that the contents amount to other than what we had hoped.

25% of the eligible American electorate voted for/bought the con. 62,985,105 bought the con. You weren't alone in your error.  48% of the electorate - 94,977,814 eligible American citizens - didn't bother to vote at all. 

So, that's something. You got yourself out and voted, at least! Kudos to you for your keen sense of citizenship. Atta-boy/girl! You just made a mistake by being suckered into a con-game with clever merchandising and fetching ball-caps. 

All it takes is for a few - a proud, honest, noble, mature, intelligent few - to come forward and end the con-job.  

Admit that you messed up.

Admit it now and your name will be placed in a special, secret lottery for only the most select and valued friends and YOU COULD WIN A BRAND NEW CAR!

or not...

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Oh, Ye of Faith...

I agree with the sentiment that people of 'faith' should not be belittled for their faith.

(Ain't I gracious?)

Many people of faith are dear to my heart. Many are not.

In some way, I respect their dedication to their faith. It takes steadfastness and resolution to adhere to a belief system based on nothing but garbled Bronze Age tales told in archaic languages.

My respect is not endless, obviously.

My kith and kin who are of 'faith' are well-aware that I have no tolerance for starry-eyed proselytes and proselytizers. If there are discussions involving their activities at their place of worship, I remove myself to a place out of earshot.

Rarely are there discussion about articles of faith, but I have been known to undertake the role of devil's advocate in arguing against the nonsense found in 'holy' books and accepted by those of 'faith'.
It's a wonderful mental exercise but very tiring.
I used to entertain myself by talking - willingly - to Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons; the most active proselytizers of the day. I felt it was an obligation to at least present a viewpoint contrary to their dogma, if not for the proselytizer's, then for my benefit.
Not magnanimous but simply dutiful.

On one occasion, I invited a visiting pair of Witnesses to come into the parlor. (Odd how they travel in pairs - as if one cannot exist without a supporting 'other'.) It was dreadful mistake, as they simply wouldn't leave once I had tired of their intractability. I had to become quite rude; finally lying about a pressing engagement to induce them to go.

My roommate pointedly warned me that that should never happen again. From then on, I chose the stalling tactic; never allowing the door to open more than half-way. In effect, it was an unfulfilled invitation for them; I was conversing, their initial goal was achieved, but the implied promise of access was unfulfilled.

Since that time of youthful frivolity, I have become less willing to exert the energy needed to swat the flies that swarm around people of 'faith'. Willingness to engage has cooled to a willingness to tolerate.

Just so long as that person of 'faith' does not try to shove it down anyone's throat, my throat...  Fine.
Stew in your own juices.
Live and let live

People of 'faith' have the right to their beliefs and I have the right to ask them to keep it to themselves. 
'Praise Jesus!' all you want but leave me out of it. 

I think that sentiment is shared by many.