November 30, 2012

Has the 2016 Election become a horse race?

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 2:37 pm

America’s journey to Election Day 2016 began with a single step in the form of a front page article in the New York Times on November 23, 2012, which effectively anointed JEB Bush as the Republican frontrunner.  Since the World’s Laziest Journalist rarely gets news tips and doesn’t have well placed sources who will provide him with newsworthy inside information such as we read in a recent Tom Hartman column that described some astounding chicanery used by Richard Nixon in his second bid for the Presidency in 1968, we will have to continue relying on our usual modus   operandi of occasionally attempting to point out the obvious in the “naked emperor” manner, ridiculing pomposity, while mixing in some obscure facts and names (which we call Google bait), and pop culture references, as a way to inform and entertain the regular readers while simultaneously conducting the search for topics which we (occasionally) manage to find before the mainstream media does.

For those who doubt that there are any “naked emperor” stories that journalists in America haven’t explored fully, we would ask: Why haven’t they asked these questions?:

Why did George W. Bush get a pass on Questions (Building 7, the vanished airplane wreckage near in and near the Pentagon, and the mysterious entities who profited from short sales of airline stocks) regarding Sept. 11, while President Obama is being held accountable for a full and immediate explanation of what happened in Benghazi?

Why did the press sit silent when George W. Bush expanded Presidential powers yet they join the chorus denouncing it when the Egyptian President makes a power grab?

Now that voices from the left are virtually extinct, where are the howls of outrage about the “liberal media”?  In a country that says it values free speech, shouldn’t there be patriots asking: Where did it go?

Was coach John Madden serious when he suggested on his KCBS radio show that it was a good idea to slather mayonnaise on a peanut butter sandwich?

It is a bit too early for a rogue pundit to start assessing the likelihood of a 2016 contest between Hilary and JEB that will be compared to a horse race, so we will try to find some interesting and entertaining topics that are available to a pundit without “reliable sources” and let the mainstream media report the latest poll results.

On Black Friday, we encountered five young guys from Belgium whose quest for adventure had brought them to San Francisco.  They were part of a group of artists calling themselves Harmony Street (which has a Facebook page) and they were selling hand made post cards to augment their finances to sustain their “on the road” lifestyle.  If we run an item about the San Francisco phase of their journey in one of our columns, isn’t it likely that several of their friends back home will be sent some links which will provide an infinitesimally small bump in the total number of hits?

Later that same day we encountered a young man from San Diego who was interviewing people about their assessment of the annual deluge of holiday films.  We told him that we personally were eagerly anticipating the arrival of the film version of “On the Road.”  We managed to give him our opinion without having to forfeit our record of keeping the Internets clear of images of our face.  To see it, click this link:

If a blogger can be considered a “digital Kerouac, then we have a reason to mention that postings have resumed on the blog that describes the “on the road” facet of life for “the Hitzels</a>.”

The road to the next Presidential Election Day is littered with hazards but there is one possibility that all political pundits both conservative and liberal are completely (until earlier this week) discounting:  what if the Republicans want to drive the economy off the fiscal cliff?  (Who will be the first pundit to compare the political showdown for the fiscal cliff to the game of chicken sequence in the film “Rebel without a Cause”?)

The Liberal pundits can not conceive of choosing to make that move so they use the psychological phenomenon called projection to assume that since they wouldn’t do that, then neither would the conservatives.

It would take a fair amount of work to write a column suggesting that the “please don’t throw me in the briar patch” strategy (from the Uncle Remos stories about B’rer Rabbit) might be lurking in the Republican leaders’ minds and neither liberals nor conservatives would give such a column serious consideration, so scratch that idea . . . but if that’s exactly what does happen don’t blame the World’s Laziest Journalist for not writing a tip-off alert column.

On Black Friday, we went to the Union Square in San Francisco to see how the convention of shoppers, political activists of the animal rights variety, protesters, office workers, tourists, police, and journalists was going.  The contingent of police was augmented by mounted patrolmen who were riding horses wearing badges and Santa hats.

After a referendum in Berkeley CA to enact a sit-lie law was narrowly defeated, Mayor Tom Bates brought up a variation of the issue of who should sit where by requesting that the seating chart for the city council be adjusted so that his colleague and political opponent councilman Kris Worthington would not be sitting next to the Mayor.

When the local web site Berkeleyside asked the Mayor why, his quick quip answer (“So I don’t strangle him.”) brought renewed intensive journalistic scrutiny to the Berkeley City Council.  Mayor Bates told a local TV crew “It was just a joke!”

In the Go-go era, would an independent citizen journalist have been able to report the possibility for an ecological disaster because of the gold mining efforts in the Pascua Lama area before the BBC ran a similar item about that business story from South America?

What about beating the New York Times with mentions of the 1939 BMW replica motorcycle, smoking bath salts, and pointing out that the opening statement by the lead American prosecutor at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials crippled the Bush supporters “he didn’t know” argument?  Do they count as “scoops”?

The famous, fictional San Francisco cop, Dirty Harry (Cling Eastwood) said:  “A man’s got to know his limitations.”  In the new era of overextended news staffs, rogue pundits who report information which will appeal to liberals has got to expect that conservatives will disparage any items that don’t fit the conservatives’ narrative and they will marginalize any such independent commentators.

Could the Myth Busters TV program be plotting an expose that makes the assertion that the World’s Laziest Journalist works very hard to maintain his laid-back, happy-go-lucky ersatz Gonzo style of column writing?

The conservative critics who think that the über-cynical World’s Laziest Journalist is being led astray on his path to an eternal reward will be glad to learn that he has been provided with an autographed copy of “Turtle on the Fencepost:  Finding Faith through Doubt” (Richard B. Patterson Liguori Publications) and will read every word of it.

Back when Sean Connery was slipping into the role of James Bond and the Rolling Stones were trying to land a deal with a recording company, we were trying to improvise a plan that would deliver a life consisting of: meeting interesting people, seeing interesting sights, and witnessing interesting events.  As this column was being written CBS radio news ran an item noting that the film “Casablanca” opened on November 26, 1942, and we were delighted to realize that would give us plenty of conversational opportunities to resort to this comment:  “I’ve been to Casablanca and I’ve been to Paris – I prefer Paris.”  Sometime between now and the 2016 Election Day, we will write a column that will go under the headline:  “Raspberries, Jim Morrison’s grave, and the missing sewer tour.”

The road to the 2016 Presidential Election will be a tough slog so why should a freelance pundit bother to make that journey?  Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream offer bumper stickers that advise “If it isn’t fun, why do it?”  According to the philosophy of Ben and Jerry and the guiding principles of Gonzo Journalism, if it looks like fun then have at it.

Robert Louis Stevenson, in “An Inland Voyage,” wrote:  “To know what you prefer, instead of humbly saying Amen to what the world tells you you ought to prefer, is to have kept your soul alive.”

Now the disk jockey will play Dave Dudley’s “Six Days on the Road,” the Beatles’ “Long and Winding Road,” and Johnny Cash’s “I’ve been everywhere.”  We have to go and prepare to attend the “Winter Pow Wow.”   Have a “Why do we do this, Buzz?” type week.

May 10, 2008

The Infinite Primary

Filed under: Toon — Tags: , , , , , , — Volt @ 7:05 am

May 8, 2008

Rush Limbaugh Urges Dittobots to Vote for Obama in Remaining Democratic Primaries

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , , , — Volt @ 5:10 pm

Alexander Moody, CNN, May 8, 2008

WASHINGTON — He has publicly urged Republicans to vote for Sen. Hillary Clinton to keep the divisive Democratic nomination fight alive, but talk radio host Rush Limbaugh said Wednesday he really wants Sen. Barack Obama to be the party’s nominee.

Rush Limbaugh urged listeners in states with open primaries to cross party lines and support Hillary Clinton.

“I now believe he would be the weakest of the Democrat nominees,” Limbaugh, among the most powerful voices in conservative radio, said on his program. “I now urge the Democrat superdelegates to make your mind up and publicly go for Obama.”

“Barack Obama has shown he cannot get the votes Democrats need to win — blue-collar, working-class people,” Limbaugh said. “He can get effete snobs, he can get wealthy academics, he can get the young, and he can get the black vote, but Democrats do not win with that.”

But Jamal Simmons, a Democratic strategist and Obama supporter, disagreed, saying the Democratic Party has “the best coalition to go out and talk to people across racial lines, which are the unions.”

Read More Here

May 6, 2008

Demonstrate Some Respect For The Flag

Filed under: Toon — Tags: , , , , — Volt @ 5:51 pm

May 4, 2008

Maureen Dowd: This Bud’s for You

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , , , , , — Volt @ 7:22 am

Maureen Dowd, The New York Times, May 4, 2008

Barack Obama is going to get down if it kills him.

Bleeding white voters in North Carolina and Indiana, the Illinois senator headed Thursday evening to V.F.W. Post 1954 in North Liberty, Ind., consisting of a bar, a pool table, a Coors Light clock and a couple of dozen curious white guys.

Checking out what the vets were drinking, he announced, “I’m going to have a Bud.” Then, showing he’s a smart guy who can learn and assimilate, he took big swigs from his beer can, a marked improvement on the delicate sip he took at a brewery in Bethlehem, Pa.

Obama is also doing his best to impress hoop-crazed Hoosiers with his passion for basketball. On Thursday night, in shirt and tie, he took on an eighth grader named Aaron at a backyard picnic in Union Mills in an impromptu game of P-I-G. “You know, he’s tough,” Obama laughed about his 14-year-old opponent. “He’s like Hillary Clinton.”

The lioness of Chappaqua is hot on the trail of the Chicago gazelle, eager to gnaw him to pieces, like a harrowing scene out of a George Stubbs painting.

Proclaiming that the upcoming elections in Indiana and North Carolina would be “a game changer,” Hillary and her posse pressed hard on their noble twin themes of emasculation and elitism.

Read More Here

Brayan Zepp Jamaison: Hillary: No

Bryan Zepp Jamaison, The Lonesome Mongoose, May 4, 2008

If there is one advantage to the protracted campaign of this strangest
of elections, it’s that we’ve gotten to see how either of the Democratic
candidates perform under fire.

This is particularly true of Barack Obama, who has had to face hostile
fire, not only from the far right, but from the sad joke that is known
as “the mainstream media” and the Clinton campaign. So far, it’s been
harsh, but not beyond the normal boundaries of roughhouse presidential
politics. Later this summer, when the right wing smear-and-hate machine
kicks in with the cheerful acquiescence of the mainstream media, acting
as an echo chamber, it will get far worse. But both Democratic
candidates have demonstrated that they can fight.

One sneer from the right that we’ve heard since the early days of the
Clinton presidency is that if they can’t handle the Republicans then
they can’t handle the demands of the presidency. Actually, the opposite
is true; Bill Clinton never had to endure as much animosity, treachery
and savagery from al Qaida, China, or North Korea as he did from the
Republican party.

It was during the Clinton years that we learned that Republicans will
cheerfully destroy their own country in the name of more power and
money. During the Putsch years, they’ve gone a long way toward doing
just that.

If Bill Clinton had one big mistake that hurt his presidency, it wasn’t
Monica Lewinsky or gays in the military. It was that he tried to
accommodate the far right in the first year of his presidency. He wanted
to reach out and embrace them, and pull them into his grand vision for
the country.

Read More Here

May 3, 2008

A Short History of Misogyny

Filed under: Toon — Tags: , , , , , , — Volt @ 6:37 am

April 25, 2008

Paul Krugman: Self-Inflicted Confusion

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , , , , , — Volt @ 9:20 am

Paul Krugman, The New York Times, April 25, 2008

After Barack Obama’s defeat in Pennsylvania, David Axelrod, his campaign manager, brushed it off: “Nothing has changed tonight in the basic physics of this race.”

He may well be right — but what a comedown. A few months ago the Obama campaign was talking about transcendence. Now it’s talking about math. “Yes we can” has become “No she can’t.”

This wasn’t the way things were supposed to play out.

Mr. Obama was supposed to be a transformational figure, with an almost magical ability to transcend partisan differences and unify the nation. Once voters got to know him — and once he had eliminated Hillary Clinton’s initial financial and organizational advantage — he was supposed to sweep easily to the nomination, then march on to a huge victory in November.

Well, now he has an overwhelming money advantage and the support of much of the Democratic establishment — yet he still can’t seem to win over large blocs of Democratic voters, especially among the white working class.

Read More Here

April 24, 2008

I Need a Shot and a Beer

Filed under: Toon — Tags: , , , , , , — Volt @ 7:09 am

April 23, 2008

Have We Created a Dream Ticket Yet?

Filed under: Toon — Tags: , , , , — Volt @ 5:08 pm

April 18, 2008

Paul Krugman: Clinging to a Stereotype

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , , , , — Volt @ 8:01 am


Paul Krugman, The New York Times, April 18, 2008

Will Barack Obama’s now famous “bitter” quote turn out to have been a big deal politically? Frankly, I have no idea.

But here’s a different question: was Mr. Obama right?

Mr. Obama’s comments combined assertions about economics, sociology and voting behavior. In each case, his assertion was mostly if not entirely wrong.

Start with the economics. Mr. Obama: “You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration.”

There are, indeed, towns where the mill closed during the 1980s and nothing has replaced it. But the suggestion that the American heartland suffered equally during the Clinton and Bush years is deeply misleading.

Read More Here

April 16, 2008

But I’m Not Bitter…

Filed under: Toon — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Volt @ 8:13 pm

April 13, 2008

Hillary the Gun Lover?

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , — Volt @ 6:16 pm

The Huffington Post, April 13, 2008

CNN reported Saturday that Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton touted her experience with guns and hunting to a crowd in Indiana:

Hillary Clinton appealed to Second Amendment supporters on Saturday by hinting that she has some experience of her own pulling triggers.

“I disagree with Sen. Obama’s assertion that people in our country cling to guns and have certain attitudes about trade and immigration simply out of frustration,” she began, referring to the Obama comments on small-town Americans that set off a political tumult on Friday.

She then introduced a fond memory from her youth.

“You know, my dad took me out behind the cottage that my grandfather built on a little lake called Lake Winola outside of Scranton and taught be how to shoot when I was a little girl,” she said.

Read More Here

Alec Baldwin: Who Can Beat McCain?

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , , , , — Volt @ 10:03 am

Alec Baldwin, The Huffington Post, April 13, 2008

Lotta folks on this site hating Hillary because she’s a woman. Lotta folks on this site loving Hillary because she’s a woman. Makes me think that, in some quarters, men have been uncomfortable with women a lot longer than whites have been uncomfortable with blacks.

Sometimes I honestly believe that a racist white guy would vote for Obama over anyone like his wife or mother. A woman as Commander-and-Chief? Uh-uh, they say.

How sad.

Lotta folks worried about Obama’s level of experience. Whatever you do, don’t buy into that Republican bullshit. Obama is FDR compared to this Bush. The GOP committed every possible sin in order to get Bush elected. They forged a whole set of new ones to get him reelected. Everyone around the world recognizes that America is in real trouble. Most Americans do, too.

Read More Here

April 2, 2008

Breaking Election News

Filed under: Toon — Tags: , , , , — Volt @ 8:48 pm

March 13, 2008

Firing Your Staffer Who Made Outlandish Comments

Filed under: Toon — Tags: , , , , — Volt @ 9:27 am

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