Finding Common Political Ground on Poverty
If you have been paying any attention to America’s paralyzed politics, you are not going to believe this.
On January 31, The New York Times published endorsements of Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination for president and John Kasich for the Republican nomination. The Clinton endorsement was ringing and enthusiastic while that of Kasich was a bit grudging and in the “best of a bad lot” genre. Predictably, neither endorsement had any perceptible effect in Iowa, although Clinton’s “victory” over Bernie Sanders was so tiny that one cannot exclude the possibility that the endorsement could have tipped the balance. On the Republican side, Kasich finished well toward the bottom and, to the extent that Republican voters noticed the Times editorial at all, any endorsement from that source might well have counted more as a negative than a positive. (The last Republican endorsed by The New York Times in a general election was Dwight Eisenhower in 1956.) Continue reading
Michael Bloomberg recently put a toe in the political waters by letting it be known that he was considering a race for president in 2016 as an Independent. According to a story in The New York Times, Bloomberg is unhappy with a possible choice of candidates between Donald Trump or Ted Cruz as the Republican nominee, and Bernie Sanders the Democratic opponent. Continue reading
The news of Sarah Palin’s endorsement of Donald Trump seemed quite unsurprising, almost inevitable. It immediately brought to mind an expression I heard long ago from a fellow soldier at Fort Benning. From time to time, Tom would remark with mild derision, “What a pair to draw to.” I have no recollection of the particular persons or things that inspired the comment, but a quick look on Google renewed my understanding of what he meant. As one writer put it:
One memory I have of my father is a saying he would use whenever we would encounter two people–usually two men, but sometimes a couple–who looked as if they were up to no good. My father, an inveterate poker player, would indicate with a nod and say, “There’s a pair to draw to.”
In the metaphor of poker, of course, the pair to which he was referring would have to be seen as a low pair, deuces or treys. Fours, fives. So in fact they were not a pair to draw to at all. It would be best just to fold before the draw and sit this hand out. But also there was the implication that trouble was just around the corner and was being drawn to the energy of the pair even at the moment, and if we wanted to wait around we probably could see it arrive.
Coming on Tuesday and Thursday nights of last week, President Obama’s State of the Union message and the sixth Republican debate combined to make a depressing package of television viewing. For those of us in the Pacific time zone, the best that might have been said was that we did not have to stay up late to watch and that neither event interfered with regular prime time programming. Given the extensive coverage of them, we will limit our comments to a few observations. Continue reading
A report on the PBS NewsHour this week brought to our attention an issue that we had previously overlooked. The report, which can be viewed here, concerned the inability of the Veterans Affairs Department (VA) to pay for in vitro fertilization (IVF) for veterans who have suffered wounds that make it impossible for them to conceive children any other way. Continue reading
We had hoped to begin 2016 on an optimistic note, but after waiting until the eleventh hour and beyond, it seems to have eluded us. For RINOs, the continued presence of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz atop the Republican leaderboard is singularly depressing. We do not accept that the nomination of either is inevitable, but it is more of a risk than we can understand or accept. Continue reading
Veteran followers of RINOcracy.com may recall that two years ago at Christmas, we posted an Ogden Nash poem, “A Carol for Children.” The poem was published in The New Yorker in December, 1935 and reprinted by The New York Times as its lead editorial on Christmas Day, 1978. In each case, the poem spoke to the troubled times at hand and we felt that it was equally appropriate in 2013. Last year, we reached the same conclusion and, sadly, it seems even more compelling this year.
The poem is not a “merry” one at all and the tradition that we carry on is one that we would like to find reason to discontinue. Yet surely Christmas is a time to look past Santa and Rudolf, egg nog and tinsel, and reflect on the more serious meaning of the occasion. And what can be more central to that meaning than the promise of a better world for our children and generations to come.
A Carol for Children Continue reading
It has been clear for some time that Lindsey Graham was not going to be the Republican nominee for President. Yet it had been our hope that enough lightning would strike to propel him at least onto the main stage of the Republican debates, where his presence was sorely needed. Graham’s inability to gain visible support was as baffling and depressing to us as Donald Trump’s successes. (In our previous blog we referred to Trump, as others had, as The Teflon Don. Our friend, Suzanne Garment writing for Reuters, has suggested that Teflon doesn’t begin to capture Trump’s magical quality, “Truth is Superman, but Donald Trump is pure Kryptonite.” ) Continue reading
Through some magical power, Donald Trump has managed to enter a fact-free zone that can only be the envy of his competitors. Unlike the statements of the other candidates, Trump’s are not scrutinized for accuracy, and indeed they are generally assumed to be unprovable or flatly wrong. No, Trump’s pronouncements are assessed primarily on the degree unpleasantness with which they are delivered. (We imagine a campaign logo: “The Surly Bird Gets the Worm.”) He appears to have succeeded John Gotti to the title of the Teflon Don.
Other candidates have attempted to pick him up on this or that fact, and Glenn Kessler has depleted his inventory of Pinocchios in making multiple awards to the Donald. But no one, so far as we know, has made a comprehensive review of Trump’s claims and observations, even within the limits of a single debate. We though it might be a useful experiment applied to the Fifth Debate. Confined to that debate the experiment is obviously limited and will omit any number of his more noxious expostulations. Nevertheless, one has to start somewhere. What follows is the entirety of what Trump had to say at the Fifth Republican Debate, omitting only various personal comments directed at other candidates or the moderators. We have supplied headings and questions and comments in bold. Continue reading