Musings on Sports, Politics and Life in general


Reality Check


This was the BEST the GOP could do?

Good Morning! In just 16 short days, our long national nightmare, almost two years in the making, will be over.

And when we wake up on November 9, Hillary Clinton will be the President-Elect of the United States of America.

I don’t say this with any glee, but more a sense of resignation. While many will blame Donald Trump or the GOP establishment for an outcome that seemed impossible 24 months ago, they worked hand in glove to bring it about. The political bosses, in a series of unnerving and politically driven moves, made three crucial decisions that paved the way for Trump to sap the energy out of the conservative wing.

First, they insisted on open primaries – a system that allowed anyone, regardless of primary affiliation, to decide the Republican nominee. It’s akin to the membership of the American Legion allowing Code Pink to select their chairman. It’s Ford letting GM pick their board. It’s insanity, is what it turned out to be. Yes, almost 32 million people voted in this year’s Republican primaries – but less than 69% of them were registered as Republicans prior to this year. Nearly 1/3 of the “Republican” electorate wasn’t Republican.

Second, they let anyone and everyone run for the GOP nomination. As a result, what should have been the strongest field of conservative candidates in a generation became diluted to the point of irrelevancy. Centrist champions? There was Bush, and Kasich, and Fiorina, and… you get the point. The same for conservatives, for the religious right, for the libertarian wing, for the neocons, and on and on and on. When the starting gun sounded, there were 22 people announced as running for the Republican nomination for President of the United States. The RNC, for reasons known only to Reince Priebus, treated them all as if they were equal of stature, of seriousness and ability to win. Overconfident? Drunk? Who knows? But when you insist that Rick Santorum be given as much gravitas as Jeb Bush, what you get is Donald Trump. Because it became nothing more than a popularity contest, and not a contest of ideas, this primary season naturally wound up favoring the reality TV star who’s spent 40 years crafting a popular image.

Third are the convoluted rules about delegate apportionment. The front-loading of “winner take all” state primaries meant that despite no candidate gaining 50% of the vote in any of the first 15 primaries, Trump had an overwhelming delegate lead. He eventually won the nomination with support of only 38% of the vote. If you really want to get into the weeds on this point, Donald J. Trump won the Republican nomination with only around 8.5 million Republican votes – the rest of his margin came from those non-Republicans the RNC allowed to vote in their primaries. When you wrap your head around that fact, you realize that he’s actually done a pretty good job of parlaying today’s polarized partisans into his roughly 2/3 support among Republican voters in the general electorate.

And so here we are, 16 days from President-Elect Clinton and the Republican Party has nobody to blame but themselves. It isn’t that Hillary Clinton became a better candidate as this election season wore on. If anything, the questions regarding her use of a private email setup for official business, the general shadiness of the Clinton Foundation and still unanswered questions about her role in the Benghazi disaster should have sunk her campaign. But the RNC threw in with the only politician in America more disliked and distrusted than Mrs. Clinton. Those of us who have been #NeverTrump since the beginning warned the rest of the party that Trump would be easy pickings for the Clinton political machine. That we’ve been proven correct doesn’t do us any good, unless the party recognizes the mistakes it’s made and works to rectify them.

At this point, that Donald J. Trump is going to lose, and lose badly, is not in question. (Well, not in question, except among his most vitriolic supporters, the ones who have forgone reason in the quixotic quest to “blow it up”). The only question is how badly the worst GOP nominee in  over 100 years is going to harm the Republican brand. The Presidency is gone. The Senate is most likely gone, as well. Kelly Ayotte in New Hampshire and Ron Johnson in Wisconsin are dead people walking. That means the Democrats only need to pick off two more seats to gain control, and they’re likely to grab at least three others (Indiana, Illinois and Colorado), as well as hang on to the retiring Harry Reid’s seat in Nevada. Should Trump continue his freefall, his coattails could well spell doom for the GOP held seats in North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Florida, too.

For all the talk about how Hillary Clinton needs to be stopped, if for no other reason than to prevent her ramming through thoroughly liberal Supreme Court justices, the RNC has shot itself in the foot. It hitched a ride with Trump and is likely to lose the only vehicle available for forcing at least a compromise on that front. And yes, it is a serious threat to the very nature of the Constitution. In the last debate, Mrs. Clinton avowed her preference for justices who will do many, many unconstitutional things from the bench. Side with the people? What? The entire reason the court exists in the form the founders created was so that they could deliver unpopular opinions without fear of recrimination. This is not to say it is a perfect system or that the court hasn’t a history of overstepping its bounds (Dred Scott, anyone?). But I cannot recall a President, at any time, essentially telling the American public that the court should ignore the Constitution when ruling on the Constitutionality of a statute. Also, Mrs. Clinton’s propensity for feint-and-maneuver was on display during her Heller answer. I had to go back and re-read the case just to be certain, but the case never referenced murderous toddlers. It was wholly about whether a jurisdiction (in this case, the District of Columbia) could ban an entire class of firearm (handguns).

Again, a real conservative would have pounced all over that particular gaffe. But the RNC’s Golden Man-Child, who until last year was a proud contributor to Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun crusade, couldn’t even muster one of his trademark “WRONG” outbursts.

This is the reality that Priebus and his ilk have foisted upon the nation. We will have at least four years of a Hillary Clinton presidency. At least the first two of them will include her party controlling the Senate. There is a very real possibility that the Trumpster doesn’t go quietly in the night, continues to rail against the Republican party and conservative movement, giving Hillary the latter half of her term with full control of Congress and the Supreme Court.

There’s also another reality that Mrs. Clinton’s party and the national media are already attempting to ignore. In no way, despite the severe drubbing Republicans are facing, should anyone assume this indicates any sort of mandate for leftist policies. Yes, Trump is likely to lose by well over 150 electoral votes. Yes, for the first time in generations, Texas, Georgia, Utah and Arizona are toss-ups. But that is not an acceptance of the socialist dreams co-opted by Mrs. Clinton’s campaign. Rather, it is a repudiation of all things Trump and Trumpism. The Clinton machine would do well to remember Hillary will begin her tenure with the lowest approval ratings of any President in history. If her goal truly  is to unify the nation, she’ll need to find areas of agreement between the GOP House and Democrat Senate. I have my doubts, as Clintonism is about partisanship first, country second. I fully expect her to attempt to ram through her personal goals of HillaryCare, tax increases and gun control measures in her first 100 days – and a nation more antagonized and polarized than even now.

That’s reality, folks. And you can thank the spineless idiots in the RNC and their equally hopeless candidate for making it so.

The Debate from Hell: Whiners & Losers




If you’re a masochist, or just needed a good excuse to drink heavily, you sat through all 90 minutes of last night’s “Presidential Debate.” If you managed that and still retained your sanity, congratulations! You’re better off than either of the two candidates.

Ok, so who won? Who lost? Did anyone have an aneurysm on stage and put us out of our misery?


  • Donald Trump – look, somebody had to win this shit storm. I suppose the winner is the guy who threw the most shit. Unfortunately for Donald, he came on stage last needing to do two things. First, he had to stop the hemorrhaging his campaign endured over the weekend. Second, he needed to convince people he’s something more than an angry old man. He may have succeeded on the first – the next couple of days will tell us. But he definitely failed on the second.
  • Breitbart TV – Stephen Bannon & Roger Ailes dream of an alt-right TV network survives! Expect a launch date of January 20, 2017.
  • Liquor distributors – The real slogan of this campaign should be, “Make America Drunk Again”.


  • The truth – Look, we know all politicians lie. We’re surprised when one doesn’t fib. But last night might have set a record for lies per second.
  • The audience – Imagine you’re invited to ask the candidates a question. You sit, waiting, and you never get a chance to actually ask it. Or even worse, you do get a chance to ask it – but both candidates and both moderators just ignore it. Yeah, it was like that. It was EXACTLY like that.
  • Mike Pence – after doing his all to save his running mate’s hide and killing any future in politics he had, Trump threw the Indiana governor under the bus. Not only that, he backed up and ran him over again. The poor guy is going to be a punch line in jokes for years to come.
  • Duels – It seems that in the same year the play Hamilton is playing to rave reviews (btw, deservedly so), we could revive the same method the title character and his main political rival used to settle their differences. Could you imagine the TV ratings? Maybe it’ll be the first live event broadcast by Breitbart TV.
  • Children – if you have kids, this entire election is a good reason to ban them from watching television. Last night encapsulated it.
  • Bill Clinton – if you haven’t seen this, it’s all you need to know about Bill’s night…


August 24, 1992 was a night I’ll never forget. I’ve been through some flat-out dangerous circumstances in my life, but that night was the only time when I thought I was going to die.

That was the night Hurricane Andrew came ashore in South Florida.

Now I’ve been watching the coverage of Hurricane Matthew and that same sense of dread is hitting me. Andrew was a beast, but Matthew looks to be every bit as bad with two important differences. For one, this storm covers a much greater area than Andrew did. For another, Matthew is moving slower and his track means a storm of much longer duration.

Andrew effectively wiped southern Dade county off the map. Matthew has the capacity to virtually wipe out the Atlantic seaboard from Palm Beach, FL to Myrtle Beach, SC.

I know some of you might think riding a storm out like this is a wonderful adventure. Others might be fearful of leaving behind a lifetime’s worth of treasures. Others just don’t want to deal with hanging out in a shelter for a few days.

But take it from someone who’s watched a house fall apart around his ears. Literally. You DO NOT want to mess around with a storm of this magnitude. Leave. Get out. Vamoose.

If you’re fortunate, your home and/or business will survive intact. But if it doesn’t, you don’t want to be in there. Trust me on that.

In the meantime, I’ll be asking the man upstairs to be looking out for all of you.

Oh, Another Debate? *yawn*

In case you missed it, the two Veep candidates debated last night. I’m going to be perfectly honest here; I doubted either would say anything interesting. So I spent my TV time split between the AL Wild Card game and a Hogan’s Heroes rerun. The game was certainly more exciting and I suspect the old sitcom more believable than anything Messers Pence and Kaine said.

Judging by the overnight reviews, Mr. Pence was the decisive winner. When even hard left outlets (NY Times, Huffington Post) declare the Republican the winner, you know it wasn’t a good performance for Team Clinton. Particularly if forced to cede a victory to Mike Pence, whom liberal publications think of as Ted Cruz with a better smile.

Apparently, Mr.Kaine was a cross between an incoherent Clinton sycophant and a killer clown, while Mr. Pence remained calm and rational. Or, Mr. Kaine did his best Donald Trump impersonation while Mr. Pence reminded the GOP that they could have nominated someone other than an insane troglodyte. Alas, the GOP has hitched their wagons to Team Trump, and the result is a political campaign where the number two choice is better than the standard bearer.

Anyway, these Veep debates never have a major impact on the election. Given that nothing newsworthy came out of this one and neither man melted down, I doubt the 2016 version will, either. I mean, if Dan Quayle getting spanked didn’t effect an election, these really are a waste of time. 

Oh, and how about those crazy Canucks? And here I thought Red Sox fans were unhinged.

American Exceptionalism

Our current President forever lost my support when in April 2009 he said, ” I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.” As James Kirchik wrote later that month in the LA Times,

“If all countries are ‘exceptional,’ then none are, and to claim otherwise robs the word, and the idea of American exceptionalism, of any meaning.”

Mind you, even the very liberal Kirchik was offended at the offhand way in which the new President (and latest liberal icon) had dismissed American exceptionalism as being, for all intents and purposes, non-existent. In fact, the problems that have risen during this Presidency are directly attributable to this President’s inability to identify what American exceptionalism is and why our past reliance on it has always overcome even the most overwhelming obstacles.

So, what is American exceptionalism? The  idea was first expressed by the Frenchman Alexis de Tocqueville in his book, Democracy in America. In 1835, the United States did not have an economy the rest of the world envied. We had few factories, few railroads, and our merchants were forced to trade in British pounds sterling or gold bullion. Our military was not feared, large, or respected. In fact, the 1835 graduating class from West Point totalled only 56 officers – of whom, 38 quit the Army after their 5 year commitment.

So, if the United States did not have the trappings of power that might lead a European gentleman to presume a national exceptionalism, what did we possess? How could a relatively poor and weak nation so impress this man that he would write a series of books about so seemingly absurd a concept as American exceptionalism?

The answer lies in the very nature of what America is, and what it means to be an American. Unlike any other nation in the history of mankind, the United States of America is unique in our very makeup: we are not of a single ethnicity, we are not defined by natural borders and our history is not rooted in the misty memories of the prehistoric tribes that roamed the rest of the world. Alone among nations of the world, to be American is to pledge fealty not to a man, nor a religion, nor a piece of land, but rather to an ideal: the idea that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights -and that government’s principle duty is to secure those rights for every person.

I hadn’t given much thought about this until our current election. After all, the hew and cry over Mr. Obama’s giving short shrift to the concept of American exceptionalism  had come from both the right and left (although, to be certain, it was more pronounced on the right). So it seemed reasonable that the American people understood what made America an exceptional nation, even if the President didn’t. And I kept thinking that, up until Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton secured their respective party’s nominations.

I’m sad to say that it seems most people today have no idea what American exceptionalism means, or where it comes from. There are those who think it comes from an inherent nativism, forgetting that one of the most crucial aspects of Americanism is that anyone, from anywhere, regardless of wealth or circumstance, can become an American. This concept is emblazoned on the base of the Statue of Liberty. You know, the bit about “Give me your tired, your poor huddled masses yearning to breathe free”? That poem isn’t talking about the economically depressed (although the vast majority of immigrants in our country’s history have been far from wealthy). It’s telling the rest of the world, if you value freedom & liberty above all else, this is the place to come. It’s the message that brought my family here during the Cold War. It’s the message that brought everyone’s family here.

Then there are those who think American exceptionalism is rooted in being the greatest economic power on earth. They either don’t know, or don’t want to believe, that the United States’ period of economic dominance was a short one, lasting about 30 years. And it only came about because alone among the world’s actors, the United States wasn’t physically devastated by the Second World War. It has nothing to do with greater industriousness or intelligence of the American worker. If you don’t believe that, I can point to a whole world of people with as strong a work ethic as you’ll find in America.

Many of our fellow citizens think American exceptionalism is a byproduct of military might. There’s nothing wrong with having a strong military, but that’s hardly exceptional. Comparatively speaking, even at it’s strongest our military was a mere shadow of the Macedonian army under Alexander or the legions that secured the Pax Romana.

Each of those are things that any nation can take pride in, but they are hardly exceptional. Other nations have, at other times, established preeminence in trade and military might. Think of the British Empire of the 19th century, the Romans, the Persians, the Egyptians. But none of those nations could truly lay claim to being something exceptional, which is to say, something that nobody had seen before or since. Something unique.

In addition to our national identity being forged of the ideals of liberty and equality, there is one other thing that makes us exceptional. That is our willingness to be introspective and during that introspection, to demonstrate to the world that we are both strong enough and wise enough to understand that we haven’t perfected our society. After all, it took us 90 years to get from announcing to the world that all men are created equal to codifying that precept, and it took another 100 years after that before those laws began to be enforced. What other nation in history has undertaken such monumental efforts, not closeted but openly? Can you imagine the awe of the common Chinese citizen when they compare Tiananmen’s brutal repression with the March on Washington?

That is liberty. That is freedom. That is the “poor huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

And that is American exceptionalism. I fervently hope those of you who’ve forgotten it remember, before this nation and her ideals are left to rot in the ash heap of history.

Is Trump a Fascist?

Too often, in our poorly educated minds, the words “fascist” and “Adolph Hitler” are transposed. While Uncle Adolph is certainly history’s  most infamous fascist, he was hardly alone. Fascism as a political system has existed for nearly two centuries and been used far too often and by far too many dictators to pretend Hitler was it’s only proponent. He was, in fact, only one of several fascists who rose to power in the early- to mid-twentieth century. Benito Mussolini, Hideki Tojo and Chiang Kai-Shek preceded Hitler to power; Francisco Franco, Antonio Salazar, Juan Peron, Engelbert Dollfuss, Getulio Vargas, Jorge Marees, Ionas Metaxas, and Robey Leibbrandt were all peers. More modern adherents include such luminaries as Manuel Noriega, Ferdinand Marcos and Tudor Ionescu.

It is obviously a false equivalency to say they are all acolytes of Adolph Hitler, especially as several of them rose to power as much as a decade before the Reichstag burned. Indeed, Mussolini considered Hitler to be his student. Nor is it correct to say all fascists are natural allies. The Axis powers of World War II were all led by fascist governments, but distrust rather than cooperation was their hallmark. And let’s not forget that despite the aid from Germany and Italy that helped Franco secure power, Franco snubbed all overtures to join them. Franco was busy in an on-again, off-again shooting war with his protege Salazar (one that lasted into the late 1960’s). What this illustrates is the variances within fascism: nazism, clerical fascism, falangism, and so forth.

So, if HItler wasn’t the proto-fascist, who was? Who founded the ideology that dozens of tin-pot dictators have adopted as their own in the past century?

That would be Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), a British philosopher, writer and mathematician. Indeed, if modern students hear of Carlyle at all, it is usually because of his work in mathematics: he is credited with developing the quadratic equation (you know, the joyless algebra equation written as ax2 + bx + c = 0). And while high school freshmen the world over hate him for making their homework harder than they want, their real derision should be directed at his influence on sociology.

Carlyle was a reactionary in his approach to what he viewed as the shortcomings with classical liberalism. Whether the free market economics of Adam Smith, or the idea of natural rights borne out in our Declaration of Independence, Carlyle viewed the advancements made in the 18th Century to be the direct cause of the chaos overtaking Europe in the early 19th. This culminated in his 1840 opus, “On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and The Heroic in History”. It is a rather long tome in which he lashes out at the idea of democratic rule and free markets as the antithesis of history’s natural order. He passionately argues that in accepting these ideas, society abandoned the natural roles of the hero as leader, of war as the principle means to glory, of industry being directed towards producing the means of war, and of societal hierarchies (today we would call them “classes” or “castes”).

Carlyle advocated that Great Men are the natural leaders of both government and society and should be elevated as such; if society refused to accept them, then it became their duty to wrest power away from the masses. He had tremendous scorn for free markets and coined the term many use today to describe modern economics, “the dismal science.” It isn’t that Carlyle didn’t believe that business owners shouldn’t be able to keep their profit (after paying the government their “equitable duty”); but rather that anyone in business not producing goods and services that directly benefitted the state should not be in business. A natural hierarchy was emplaced of men, but natural rights were not. The amount of rights a common man could be expected to receive were commensurate with his place in society; those at the top naturally had more rights than those at the bottom. And as for those at the bottom, they were generally an impediment to the advancement of the society. Enslavement or even execution was their only natural right. (Carlyle expounded further on this in “Occasional Discourse on the Negro Question” in 1849).

Further, Carlyle was a proponent of the state as the only viable method by which the Great Man, or Hero, could extend his rule and direct his will. The principle role of the common man within the state was to prepare for war. Treason in thought or deed were the only crimes that truly promoted social disorder; treasonous activities included anything that could subvert the rule of the Great Man and should be eliminated at all costs. And since the state was the engine that made society possible, it was incumbent upon all citizens to ensure that undesirables be kept out, by all means necessary.

In short, Carlyle’s view of national socialism (he coined the term to separate his philosophy from that of his contemporary, Karl Marx) relied on these key points, in order of importance:

  1. A Great Man or Hero; the natural societal leader
  2. A strong, insular state
  3. A hierarchical society, down to and including slavery
  4. Policing of society to ensure adherence to societal norms
  5. Militarism
  6. Directed markets
  7. Denial of Natural Rights

Of course, today we call this fascism, not national socialism. That term we reserve for nazism, which differs from straight fascism in its adoption of some Marxist principles, particularly as relates to property rights and the veneer of popular rule.

So the question is, does Donald Trump embody those 7 principles in his vision? Anyone who’s paid attention to what he’s said – and just as importantly, not said -in not only the past 15 months of campaigning but also the past 40 years of public life, will have already recognized Trump’s themes in Carlyle’s worldview. But for those who need further convincing, let us see how Trump and Carlyle agree.

  • A Great Man should be our natural leader: An entire forest’s worth of paper has been produced detailing Trump’s narcissism and self-aggrandizement, so no need to expound further on that. Suffice it to say anyone willing to proclaim the virtues of every dictator from Benito Mussolini to Deng Xiaoping to his current infatuation with Vladimir Putin sees himself as a man of similar abilities – and traits.
  • The strong, insular state: His motto, “Make America Great Again,” is a paen to this idea. In case you still weren’t sure, remember one of the hallmarks of the strong state is keeping undesirables out. From his proposed Mexican wall to the Muslim ban, a cornerstone of Trump’s campaign is keeping the undesirables out – by all means.
  • Hierarchical society, including slavery: Trump certainly views American society as existing within a strict hierarchy. He launched his campaign by demonizing those of Mexican heritage as “rapists and murderers.” He has been sued by the federal government for housing discrimination, but various state governments for employment discrimination and once by a trade union for refusing to pay immigrant workers. It isn’t overt racism, so much as revelation in his belief that if you aren’t in the correct class, you have fewer rights and if you reside at the bottom, you’re unworthy of much more than crumbs.
  • Police State: At various times, Trump has advocated for expanded police power to ensure the classes remain in their correct position. Undesirables should be rounded up. Agitators should be put down, with force. Indeed, Trump’s idea of “Law and Order” is less about law and a great deal more about order, enforced at the point of a gun.
  • Militarism: “I’d bomb the hell out of them.”  “Keep the oil.”  “The military would not refuse my orders, even if they found them illegal.”  “There’s nobody bigger or better at the military than I am.”  “I’m more militaristic than even George Bush.” Tie all of that in with his expressed desire to spend trillions on rebuilding the military machine to Cold War levels, along with his willingness to economically attack the rest of the world and yeah. Donald Trump is definitely a militarist.
  • Directed Markets: The other prominent cornerstone of Trump’s candidacy is a complete refutation of free trade. It’s also, in addition to a lifelong commitment to the hierarchal society, the one thing you can go back decades (his very first Wall Street Journal interview, in 1980, in fact) and find a consistent view. In fact, Trump hates free markets every bit as much as Carlyle did in his day. After all, as Trump has said, any business that puts profits ahead of Making America Great Again is engaged in treason and should pay a heavy price.
  • Denial of Natural Rights: There are two documents that historians point to as delineating natural rights. One is the French The Rights of Man. The other, fortunately, is enshrined as law in our Constitution; our Bill of Rights. At various points throughout this campaign, Trump has shown contempt for the 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th and 9th Amendments. He loves the 7th (I can’t think of another politician who’s filed more lawsuits). He likes the 2nd, but only for certain people (here we go back to the hierarchical society again). That Trump thinks natural rights are a figment of some 18th century scholar’s imagination is pretty obvious.

So, is Trump a fascist? Undoubtedly, and as such, he is the antithesis of every idea this country was founded upon and supposedly stands for today. While frightening, it isn’t that he is, or that he has come within a hair’s breadth of the Presidency that worries me. No, what’s truly frightening is that so many of our fellow citizens remain blind to his nature – or worse, not blind but fully supportive of his goals.

I’ve Stopped Feeling the Johnson

I’ve made no secret of my support for Gary Johnson since the GOP convention. He seemed the only sane choice left, and really, the only candidate with a legitimate chance of winning who was even qualified to assume the Presidency.

Hillary Clinton is terribly corrupt, incapable of following the law and eager to toss out the First and Second Amendments to the Constitution.

Donald Trump is terribly corrupt, abuses the law and unaware of the Constitution.

Both  the major party candidates are inveterate liars and lifelong con artists. They are not presidential material.

Gary Johnson is a two-term governor, who worked with a democratic state legislature to actually reduce the burden government placed on his state’s citizens. While I don’t agree with all of his positions, he has consistently held them for two decades. Prior to elective office, he built a major construction company from scratch, a personal exemplification of the American Dream. He is that rarest of breeds, the honest politician. He seemed to be the only candidate running who is qualified to be President.

And then came this morning.

In an appearance on the Morning Joe television program, Johnson showed he’s just as unqualified as the other two. Panelist Mike Barnicle asked him what he would do about Aleppo. Johnson replied by asking, “What is Aleppo?”.

Now, if you asked, “What is Aleppo?”, I could give you a pass. But Gary Johnson is not some schmuck walking the street. He is asking the American people to give him the most powerful office in the world. It is not beyond the pale to expect him to know at least the basics of foreign affairs.

I appreciate the honesty in admitting he didn’t know about one of the world’s major hotspots. But the lack of basic knowledge is disqualifying.

And for those of us trying to find someone we can support this November, it is also disheartening.


Trump Wants Blood

On a day when the world should have been talking about Hillary Clinton’s cavorting  with Taliban sympathizers, or discussing the emails that disclose how closely her State Department employees were rushing about doing Clinton Foundation business, Donald Trump managed to deflect attention away from her yet again.

At a campaign rally in North Carolina, he said this:

“Hillary wants to abolish — essentially abolish the Second Amendment. By the way, if she gets to pick, if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know. But I tell you what, that will be a horrible day.”
I agree with the first part of that statement – Hillary Clinton is not a fan of the Second Amendment. She will undoubtedly use every corrupt, dastardly trick in the book to get around it. She will also do the same to the First Amendment and the Ninth. Her views are in the mainstream of the Democratic party, and the debate over them is a political debate. But by calling for an out-and-out violent solution to end the debate, Trump has relegated what should be a spirited debate about the role of government and the meaning of the Constitution to nothing more than a grade school playground fight.
What’s that? You don’t think Trump is calling for a violent end to the debate? That he isn’t, at the very least, asking someone to shoot a Presidential candidate because of their political views? Or even worse, advocating an armed uprising to overthrow the government?
You’re of the same mind as other Trump apologists, who are trying to slough this off as just another geritol moment. Ready to take the Paul Ryan approach and call it a bad joke. Ready to take the Katrina Pierson route and say Trump was only saying assassination could be, but shouldn’t be, the answer.
None of that makes any more sense than Trump belated explanation, that he was urging people to band together to defend the Second Amendment at the ballot box. Why? Because his very words tell the lie to that.
“If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do”: only way she gets to pick judges is if she’s elected.
“Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is”: You’ll have to take it upon yourselves to prevent the President from picking judges.
And the coup de grace – “That will be a horrible day”. Yes, a Presidential assassination is always a horrible day.
Make no mistake about his intentions with that statement. This is the same guy who last week was saying that “it will be a bloodbath. The government will be shut down if they attempt to steal this and swear Hillary in.”
So, to summarize, he wants his supporters to turn the nation into a bloodbath, including assassinating the President-elect, should he lose. That isn’t just frightening, it’s criminal. It is not the mindset of a man ready to defend the Constitution of the United States. It isn’t the mindset of a man ready to defend the people of the United States. But it is the mindset of a would-be dictator.

Evil is Still… Evil


Libertarian Presidential candidate Gary Johnson. The only non-evil candidate.

There are people supporting Donald Trump’s candidacy who honestly and fervently believe he is the savior the country needs. It’s seemingly a small slice of the country, somewhere between 15-20% of the country. Polling has consistently shown this for about six months now. This post is not directed at those people.

I’m speaking to the roughly 60% of the country who feel that Hillary Clinton is such a terrible, awful, horrendous candidate that she should never see the inside of the White House again. I feel the same. Her legacy of corruption, belief that the only wrong with government is that it’s not big enough and terrible judgement when given authority, should be enough to disqualify her from public office. But what really scares ordinary Americans about the potential of an HRC presidency is the blatant disregard for Constitutional principles and the way people around her keep dying. Envisioning her as the modern Nero, adding to her bank accounts while the country burns, isn’t a stretch.

Of those who think this way, about half of you are prepared to vote for a candidate who is equally unfit for office. A man who openly advocates violence against his detractors, who uses bigotry and classism as cover for his own corruption. The same man who has abandoned friends for political expediency while embracing those who mean the country harm.

The excuse, and that’s all it is, to those who think this way is that you’re voting for the lesser of two evils. That is not only illogical, it’s repugnant. It’s akin to voting for Baal instead of Satan, because while Baal might destroy the world, you know Satan will.

People, evil is still evil. If you’re voting for candidate A instead of candidate B because one is a murderer while the other is only a rapist, then you are still voting for a person of low moral character who has a disregard for society. You are voting for evil and condemning the country to ruin.

There is a better way, a candidate C. Perhaps you don’t agree with all of his positions. Maybe you find some of the things he advocates to be an affront to your sensibilities. But his character is not impugned, nor his patriotism. He isn’t holding rallies to talk about using violence in furtherance of political goals, and he doesn’t have a team of lifetime sycophants trying to cover up the daily revelations of corruption.

Candidate C is Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate. By voting for him, you won’t feel like you need to take a decontamination bath 24/7 for the next 4 years. Take a closer look, #NeverHillary voters. I think you’ll like what you see.

In 2018, the Yankees Will Win the World Series

So, Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez have pretty much been given their walking papers and the youth movement has begun. Here are some names to remember, if you’re one of those fans who never paid much attention to the minor league system. These players will probably be in Pinstripes in 2017 (and maybe before this season is over):

Aaron Judge: an outfielder whose power has been compared to Giancarlo Stanton. Remember those moon shots Stanton hit during the Home Run Derby? Check out this Judge blast –

Clint Frazier: another outfielder, he was the lynchpin of the Andrew Miller trade. He’s been compared to Mike Trout in terms of raw ability. Except with more power.

Gary Sanchez: Not only the catcher of the future, but it looks like he’s the catcher of the present. Since his call-up on August 3, he’s hitting .333 with an .813 OPS.

Tyler Austin: The slugging outfielder/first baseman was nearly derailed by injuries in 2014 & 2015, but has recovered in a big way this year, with a .321 average, 17 homers and 76 RBI.

Greg Bird: The first baseman with a sweet left handed swing hurt his should this spring and has spent the year rehabbing. But as an emergency replacement for Teixeira towards the end of last year, the then 22 year old hit .261/11/31 in 46 games.

Bryan Mitchell: The right handed pitcher with the overpowering fastball had made the big club in Spring Training, before a freak broken big toe cost him his season. Still, look for him and Luis Severino to provide major innings in the starting rotation in 2017.

Luis Cessa/Chad Green: the young righties have made a few appearances for the Yankees as part of the “Scranton Shuttle” this season. The return for last year’s Justin Wilson trade, the former Mets and Tiger’s farmhands are both probable swingmen, joining Adam Warren in giving Joe Girardi plenty of options (and potential innings) out of the Yankee middle relief corps.

And in 2018, these kids will probably be ready to see big-league action:

Dustin Fowler: A speedster in the Brett Gardner mold, the outfielder has hit .287 with 8 homers and 20 steals at AA this year.

Billy McKinney: Yet another speedy outfielder, the left handed McKinney was part of the Aroldis Chapman trade.

Ian Clarkin: the former first round pick has recovered from a lost 2015 and become an even better pitcher. The young lefty, once compared to Ron Guidry, now has 3 off speed pitches to compliment his 97mph fastball.

Justus Sheffield: The left hander is another of the players who came back in the Andrew Miller deal.

Ben Heller: the righty reliever with a 99mph fastball was another player in the Miller trade. He has a shot to see action out of the Yankee bullpen next year, if he gets better command of the strike zone. Even so, in his first AAA action this year, he’s posted a 1.60 ERA with a 0.88 WHIP in 28 innings.

Kyle Higashioka: the catcher slugged his way from AA into a AAA promotion, and hasn’t stopped hitting yet. In 17 games at Scranton, the late-blooming Higashioka has hit .359 with 6 homers.

There’s even more talent waiting in the low minors. Kids like Jorge Mateo, Gleyber Torres, Blake Rutherford, James Kaprellian, Miguel Andujar and Kyle Holder are all considered among the 100 best minor league prospects. (Indeed, the Yankees almost have an embarrassment of riches at shortstop and catcher).

And don’t forget, the Yankees are reducing their payroll by almost $70 million by Opening Day in 2018- and that’s before current veterans (see: Brett Gardner, Brian McCann, Chase Headley) find themselves on the trade block. You know who hits free agency in 2018?  Manny Machado. Bryce Harper. Josh Donaldson. Matt Harvey. Clayton Kershaw. Jose Fernandez. AJ Pollock. Andrew Miller.

To think the Yankees won’t open the checkbook and grab a few of those perennial all-stars and fill in the blanks before Opening Day 2018 is ludicrous. Combine, say, Machado, Harper and Harvey with the upcoming crop of Baby Bombers and that’s why I’m predicting it now:

The New York Yankees will win the World Series in 2018.


Not only that, it’s going to be the start of another dynasty.