Monday, September 21, 2015

So Much for Walker

Apparently it's now official, Walker is out of the race.

That's good. Now if we can get rid of the rest of the dead weight that would be an accomplishment.

I'd like to see the Republican field get down to Trump, Bush, Fiorina, Kasish and Rubio. At least then we might have a chance at a rational conversation. I leave Trump in simply because he makes people face up to ideas they're uncomfortable with.

I still think Bush wins this especially now that a lot of the money that was backing Walker is looking for a new puppet.

The Presidential Race

It's been over two months since I've tried to untangle what the hell is going on in the presidential races.

The Republican race is like watching a bunch of zoo animals on a roller coaster and the Democratic race, and yes it now appears to be a race, seems to be morphing into the Wise Old Wizard vs. the Wicked Witch with Uncle Joe sipping beer in the corner.

First the Republicans. When last we met back in August I had divided the 17 candidates into two groups. The top contenders made up "The Terrible Ten" and the rest "The Trash Heap Seven." I then listed candidates based upon a combination of "sane enough put up with" and "probability of winning."

Well there have been some changes since then.

First Rick Perry quit the race so now it's "The Trash Heap Six" at least temporarily. I've put the latest poll numbers in parentheses.

The Terrible Ten

#1 - Donald Trump (#1 - 24%)
- Still at the head of the pack. Unfortunately his statements have gotten more and more outrageous as time has gone on. While I'm willing to give a businessperson a chance instead of another politician Trump is beginning to wear on me.

 #2 - Jeb Bush (#5 - 9%)- There are a lot of things I don't like about Bush and he's probably incompetent but at least he's not crazy. I still think he's got the inside track because he's the man the corporate men like.

#3 - Carly Fiorina (#2 - 15%) - Ms Fiorina has done VERY well in the debates and it has catapulted her into the big time. Her tenure at HP could still become a milestone around her neck but this is getting interesting.

#4 - Ben Carson (#3 - 14%) - Mister Delusional himself. If he were to somehow end up in the White House I'd move to Scandinavia. His latest nonsense is saying that a Muslim should never be president. Now, I probably wouldn't vote for a Muslim either but if Carson can exclude one group then any group can be excluded. This is a bad precedent to set.

 #5 - Marco Rubio (#4 - 11%) - He's done well in the debates as well and I'm pretty sure he's not crazy.

 #6 - John Kasich (#10 - 2%) - Like Rubio he benefits from the benefit of the doubt. He might not be crazy.

 #7 - Chris Christie (#9 - 3%) - I think Christie is a complete ass-hole so you can imagine what I think of the ones below.

#8 - Ted Cruz (#6 - 6%) - He's crazy and he's still ahead of a bunch of the field.

#9 - Rand Paul (#8 - 4%) - Like his dad, not only doesn't he have any answers but he doesn't even understand the questions.

 #10 - Mike Huckabee (#7 - 6%) - Huckabee is a complete lunatic and he demonstrated it again making nice with the Kentucky clerk defying the Supreme Court. Can someone please run him over with a truck?

The Trash Heap Six

#11 - Scott Walker (< 1%) - I told you it was just a matter of time before this dum-dum started dribbling at the mouth. The rumor is that he's ready to drop hell.

#12 - George Patacki (< 1%) - Patacki could be a reasonable president but I think he has no chance.

#13- Lindsay Graham (< 1%) - Same as Patacki, no chance.

 #14 - Jim Gilmore (< 1%)  - The governor of Virginia has no chance but I'll take him over Jindel and Santorum.

 #15 - Bobby Jindel (< 1%) - This guy is the world's biggest loser but I would still take him over Carson, Huckabee and Santorum because they're completely crazy.

 #16 - Rick Santorum (#11 - 1%) - He's not as crazy as Huckabee but he's still crazy.

The Scrap Heap

Rick Perry - Has thrown in the towel.

The scariest development here is Carson. He's in the Huckabee/Santorum lunatic category yet 14% of Republican voters apparently think he should be president.

On the Democratic side Bernie Sanders, The Wise Old Wizard, just won't go away. Rumor has it that he's competitive if not ahead in Iowa and New Hampshire. Can Sanders win a National Election? Can Clinton win a National Election? Does anyone want them to win a National Election?

2016 is shaping up as a really screwed up election.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Let's Talk About Kim Davis

Kim Davis is the Kentucky county clerk that has refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. As a matter of fact she hasn't been issuing them to anyone and is being sued by two gay and two heterosexual couples.

Basically Davis is claiming religious freedom. She claims that issuing a marriage license which "conflicts with God's definition of marriage" "would violate my conscience." She has also expressed the position that this is a "Heaven or Hell" decision for her.

"To me this has never been a gay or lesbian issue. It is about marriage and God’s Word. It is a matter of religious liberty, which is protected under the First Amendment..."

There are several issues with Davis' position.

The first issue is there is a legal difference between the person of Kim Davis and the person of the Rowan County Clerk. Davis is protected under the 1st Amendment but the county clerk is not. The county clerk has to obey the law. Davis cannot extend her religious beliefs unto the legal person of the county clerk.

The second issue is the marriage we're talking about is a civil marriage which is a construct of the state. It's essentially a legal contract. It is a secular state issue that "God" has nothing to do with.

The third and final issue is that obeying the law, as required by Romans 13:1-5, would not in any way reflect upon Davis' opinions, beliefs or conscience. Romans 13:1-5 is essentially a "get out of jail free card" for members of the church living under oppressive or heretical regimes.

Davis is also probably getting lousy advice from her lawyers since seeing her in jail better fits their agenda.

And that's where Davis is at the moment. In jail. In the meantime her deputies at the county clerk's office were given the option by Judge Bunning of joining her in jail or issuing the marriage licenses.

Apparently all but one of the deputies agreed to do their job. One, her son I believe, demurred. Whether he will join his mother in jail is unclear but as long as someone is obeying the law and issuing licenses it's really not necessary.

Of course the Right Wing is going ape shit over this and comparing her to Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks. I think they're glad she's in jail as they think it gives them a potential martyr and a rallying point.

I suspect in the final analysis this is going to backfire on them since there are still a lot more sane people in this country than bat-shit crazy ones and they expect public officials to obey the law or resign.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

The Idiocy of the Right Wing

There has been a minor dispute going on about the name of a mountain in Alaska named Mt. McKinley.

The mountain, at 20,237 feet, is the highest in North America and received its current name in 1917 in honor of President William McKinley. The local Koyukon Athabaskans had always called the mountain Denali which was based upon their word for high or tall.

Alaska has long maintained that the mountain's name be officially changed back to Denali since that's what it's called locally. The Alaska Board of Geographic Names changed the name of the mountain to Denali in 1975 but a request by the Alaskan state legislature to the US Board of Geographic names was blocked by an Ohio congressman from McKinley's home town of Canton.

I suppose having the Pro Football Hall of Fame wasn't enough.

However the federal government has finally caught up and announced in August of 2015 that the name will officially be changed on the federal level to Denali in order to line up with what Alaska calls the mountain.

I mean, remember that 10th Amendment that conservatives keep crying about? I would think that naming your own landmarks would be covered under that.

Alas, not in today's contentious world. Incredibly, politicians in Ohio are up in arms over the change to the name of a mountain in Alaska that was named by a prospector for a president most of them probably didn't know came from Ohio before the name change was announced.

But, you know, this is just people being silly. For Republicans anything the Obama administration does is bad. He could cure cancer, resolve the debt, end poverty and bring about world peace and they would still find something to complain about.

You sort of expect it by now. It's like background noise to anyone with more than half a brain.

But Mike Huckabee brings stupidity to a whole new level. He's called the move "outrageous," claims it shows the president doesn't think there is any limits on his power and called upon Republicans in Congress to block the move.

How can anyone take people like this twit Huckabee seriously?