Donald The Body

Joe Doakes from Como Park emailed me something I’ve been saying myself:

Trump reminds me of Jesse Ventura.  He says what the crowd wants to hear so they’ll vote for him and does it really well; plus, he’s running against a legacy putz in Jeb and a bitterly hated crone in Hillary just as Jesse ran against legacy Skip and hated Turncoat Coleman.  But once Trump gets in office, will he have trouble getting his ideas into action, as Jesse did?

“I want to bomb ISIS.”  Okay, but how?  I’m guessing that means ask the White House secretarial staff to call the Joint Chiefs to schedule a task force meeting with group commanders who will prepare a battle order . . . might also want to mention it to the countries who own the airspace you’ll be flying through, which means somebody at the State Department . . . possibly the Russians, too . . . and do we alert the Press or not and who handles those questions . . . ooh, that whole War Powers thing might require notification of Congressional leaders, somebody ought to call whoever we need to call about that . . . .

In a new Republican Administration, the campaign staff would know the policies, know the Establishment crowd, know the insiders, know who to appoint to run the bureaucracy, know who to call to get things done.

Jesse ended up filling offices with Democrats hastily rebranded as Independents, because Jesse had no list of party faithful to appoint.  Who will Trump end up with?

That’s not enough of a concern to make me vote for the putz or the crone, but it does make me wonder if throwing out the present rascals will result in any better rascals getting in?

Joe Doakes

Trump has the same problem Ron Paul had; talk is not only cheap, it’s easy.  Anyone can do it.

Actually getting it done when and if you get elected?  That’s the hard part.

And I suspect neither Ventura nor Trump ever expected they’d have to deliver on their bluster.

Doakes Sunday: Buried

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Why would Senate Republicans vote on a budget bill at 1:00 am?

Because they’re ashamed of it.  They know the line “I’ll gladly pay you in 2025 for $85 billion today” is a lie, the same lie they told in every other “out-years” budget going back for decades.

Kudos to Ted Cruz for speaking the truth about it.  Shame on Senate Republicans for going along with it.

Joe Doakes

Keeping freedom is a full-time job.  The bulk of it involves keeping your side on the right side.

Enter Horserace

All the usual stipulations apply; it’s a year before the election, and the polling so far pits one candidate with with near-universal name recognition against a bunch of unknowns who just represent ideals (and one celebrity).  The unknowns have no negatives; most voters barely know their names.

With all the caveats out-of-the-way? The latest KSTP poll – which has tended in recent cycles to be the better poll of Minnesota’s preferences – shows Hillary losing to pretty much any GOP nominee

In Minnesota.

Which has to be a smack upside the head for an “inevitable” candidate.

The GOP candidates will get negavies – especially once the Democrat noise machine starts sounding off.

Still – not what I expected at this stage of the election.


For years, I’ve been listening to my various liberal friends grunt and shriek in horror as various school boards around the country adopt policies that call for their various school districts to recognize, in one curricular form or another, the existence of creationism.

To which I’ve responded with two questions:

“First – if someone who’s refinishing your driveway, or checking out your groceries, or working on the app that you use to calculate your heart rate, is a young earth creationist [because the type of liberals who always huff and puff about creationism tend to own fitbits, naturally, believe everyone who isn’t like them is in the service class], what difference does it make to you?”

The answer, generally, is something with pretensions to altruism with overtones of intellectual thuggery; “we want everyone in our society to start with the same basis of actual knowledge,” or some such.

Which leads to my second question: “So – let’s say that you go to the hospital with a life-threatening aneurysm in your brain.  And as you’re getting ready for surgery to stent a weak spot in a cranial artery to prevent it blowing like a water balloon, killing you in less time than it takes me to say this, you find out that your brain surgeon – a person who spent four years in a hypercompetitive hard-science-based pre-med program vying for a seat in a medical school, and then four more in a medical program designed to weed out the non-hackers, and not only surviving the cut but doing it brilliantly enough to get accepted to post-doctorate training and residency as a brain surgeon, and then years of experience operating on peoples’ brains – is a creationist?  Do you get up off the operating table, loudly proclaim “you, madame, have no respect for science!” and walk away, looking for a non-creationism brain surgeon?”

There was a time when it was a hypothetical question.  Ben Carson, the media is jumping up and down to remind us, is an old-earth creationist (who abjures ruling out a very old earth).  And – as the Clinton’s praetorian guard is reminding us these days, he believes a few other oddball things.

Now, Carson isn’t my guy at this point, although he’d be a better President than anyone on the Democrat ticket.

But let’s acknowledge a few things; he’s a very smart guy.  Literally, a brain surgeon.  To quote a less brilliant candidate, “that’s f****ng huge!”    But he believes in creationism, and that pyramids were used as granaries.


But I have a quesiton: is that any wackier than believing you can offer free college tuition without blowing up the deficit and distorting the higher education market out of recognition?  Or in believing that storing classified emails in a bathroom and telling the American people that the Benghazi attack was caused by an anti-Muslim video were good ideas?

Trump Card

A longtime correspondent of this blog writes:

I note that the MSM is promoting Latino group offers $5K for calling Trump a racist on ‘SNL’”
By a Norman Mailer I’m referring to a description of his contact with feminist protesters from this article in Salon:

“For example, back when I was in college at Berkeley, I attended a lecture by then bad-boy, self-advertised anti-feminist, self-proclaimed macho-man, world-famous novelist and essayist Norman Mailer. I should mention that he had been preceded a week before by Gloria Steinem. The stage was set.  As soon as Mailer took the podium there was a smattering of shouts, signs flashed up, a protest began. He looked over the crowd and held his hands up, and said, “OK, OK.  I get it.” Things quieted down a bit.  Mailer continued,  “So everyone who thinks I’m an asshole, hiss.”  Of course the room was soon filled with violent hisses.  When they stopped Mailer smirked and said, “Obedient little bitches.””

My hope would be that Trump would come out for the opening monologue and ask everyone in the audience to join together and call him a racist, he could even hold up a cue card with the exact words, then he could hold up another cue card with the contact information for Deport Racism PAC and assure the audience that each one of them is eligible for/guaranteed a $5,000.00 reward. I figure Studio 8H has about 200 seats in it so at $5k a head that could cost the Deport Racism PAC $1.2million. Its a safe bet they would renege on the offer giving Trump & the GOP in general a lot of counter attack ammunition.

Whatever you can say about Trump – he’s not my guy – he’s one I could actually see bringing this kind of thing to the campaign.

Debateable Impressions: Let Me Be The Two Millionth To Say…

Finally:  the evening’s host, CNBC

What the conservative pundocracy says:  The performance of the CNBC panel –  the smirky, mugging Carl Quintanilla, the smug and snarky Becky “Not Very” Quick, and Mike “Where Have You Gone, Candy Crowley?” Harwood, with an appearance by Jim Cramer (who sounded like he’d just lost a UFC match) was a laughingstock – even when mentioned in the same breath as CNN’s loathsome performance four years ago.

What I say:  The conservative pundocracy was too kind.  I got the impression that the media has settled onto a “strategy” of turning debates (well, the GOP ones, anyway) into political reality shows.  Part of me expected Flavor Flav or Khlamidia Khardashian to show up to ask a question [1].  It was clearly a goldmine for CNN last month – to me, it looked like CNBC wanted to make their panel the stars of the debate.  Here’s hoping that the rumors of the backfire on CNN aren’t exaggerated.

Verdict:  News flash: anyone who expects anything from the MSM but sniping and hackery is deluded.  And you can tell Reince Preibus I said so.

[1] Khlamidia is one of the sisters – right?

Debateable Conclusions: Populosity

Up next:  Mike Huckabee.

What the conservative pundocracy says:  He did well.

What I say:   I didn’t see it.  Granted, I missed half the debate – but my signal impression of Huckabee was his resounding rejection of…means testing.

I get it – he’s a “Southern” conservative; socially conservative, but not especially afraid of big government or spending.

It was just an odd moment at a debate for the support of a party that’s getting more hawkish on budgets and spending.

Verdict:   Back to talk radio, Mike.

Debateable Impressions: Walter Rising

Up next:  John Kasich.

What the conservative pundocracy says:  Kasich kept himself in the running with a strong, if cranky, performance.  Others point to his fairly bald-faced, McCainish up-sucking to the media.

What I say:  My short list, two months ago, was Walker, Jindal, Kasich.  With Walker gone and Jindal mired in the undercard and barely running a campaign, it looks like Kasich is the last man standing.  He gave a strong showing last night.  But am I the only one who saw his cranky demeanor and though about Jeff Dunham’s puppet-character “Walter”?

Verdict:   Let’s hope he can morph into something other than the campaign’s resident senior scold.

Debateable Impressions: Punching At His Weight

Next up:  Marco Rubio.

What the conservative pundocracy says:   Rubio came back from what could have been a very tough night, and did it with style.

What I say:  His take-down of the moderators’ harping on the Orlando Sun-Sentinel’s loathsome hatchet-job editoral call for his resignation (for missing about half as many votes as President Obama or Secretary of State Kerry, both of whom the Orlando SS endorsed) was sharp-eyed and surgical; his turn back to his actual policy – against the moderators’ wishes, natch – was smooth and authoritative.

Verdict:   I’ve been trying to figure out who’d replace Scott Walker on my short list.  Rubio might be it.


Debateable Impressions: Speaker Points

Up next:  Ben Carson.

What the conservative pundocracy says:  He held steady.

What I say:   While I respect virtually everything Carson stands for (he’s pretty hopeless on the Second Amendment), I’m always amazed when I see him at debates; quiet, unprepossessing, like an amiable professor who dropped into a WWE match.

Verdict:  He did well.  Not much more to say.

Debateable Impressions: Howling Into The Void

Up next:  Rand Paul

What the conservative pundocracy says:  He’s a dead issue, and should start focusing on holding his Senate seat forthwith.

What I say:   I’ve been a Rand Paul fan for a long time now.   But I sensed that his support was similar to his father’s in Minnesota during the last convention season; a mile deep and twenty feet wide.   Not to say he’s done poorly in any debate – he’s stated his case just fine.  But at no point has he gotten anyone to say “he’s the man” who wasn’t saying it two years ago.

Verdict:  I think the party needs Rand Paul in the race for the same reasons it needs Christie.  I’m just not sure how much longer he can justify it.

Debateable Impressions: Smooth As His Combover

Next on the agenda:  Donald Trump.

What the conservative pundocracy says:  He did well, repairing some previous gaffes and not harming himself – at a time when some polls show him slipping and needing to not screw up.

What I say:  Major points for fixing his Mexican gaffe from the Reagan Center debate by noting that the President of Mexico was a smarter, better executive than Barack Obama -which would seem to be the truth.  I think he made fewer mistakes than in the second debate.

Verdict: He didn’t hurt himself, and left himself in a good position to try to duke it out for Carson and Rubio for the lead.

Debateable Impressions: You Talkin’ To Me?

Up next:  Chris Christie.

What the conservative pundocracy says:  Solid performance – but not enough to vault him onto the short list.

What I say:  By all rights, Christie shouldn’t have gotten this far.  He’s not the darling of the establishment, and conservatives fear him because he’s a “northeast” conservative; strong on business and security, adequate on entitlement and fiscal policy (and hampered by both a Democrat power stranglehold and a fairly inept New Jersey GOP), weak on civil liberties.   Heck – go back and forth on Christie.

Verdict:  I think the party needs him on the short list, just to keep the short-listers on their toes.

Debateable Impressions: The Lady’s Not For Turning Away

Up next:  Carly Fiorina.

What the conservative pundocracy says:   She does well in debates, but is having a hard time keeping excitement going – and last night’s performance was good enough for no more than holding steady.

What I say: Every time I see Carly Fiorina talk, I get more impressed.  Trump and Carson are sucking all of the “anti-establishment” air out of the room – and it’s a shame, because I think Fiorina has the best potential as a chief executive among the three “antis” on the list (along with Trump and Carson).

Verdict:   The debate didn’t give her a huge boost, but in a just world she’ll remain a contender.

Debateable Impressions: Cruz Missile

As i noted earlier, I only watched perhaps 90 minutes of last night’s cage match.

I’m going to give my impressions anyway  – one candidate at a time.  I’m going to start with Ted Cruz.

What the conservative pundocracy says:  It was the performance he needed to stay on the short list.

What I say:  And how.  His jeremiad against the media was a watershed, both within the debate and (I can dream), within the party; it’s restarted the discussion about getting the GOP out of the major-media “debate” / reality show racket.  If he serves no other purposes in this campaign, last night’s contribution could turn out to be a fantastic thing.

Verdict:  Excellent.


Well, Crap

Walker’s out of the race.

And I couldn’t  be more bummed.

Walker was the *only* candidate in the race that has actually walked the walk when it comes to pushing back on the public employee unions, whose pensions are going to bankrupt this nation long before any war will.

But he built a stadium for the Bucks!”, some chant. Yeah, he’s not perfect. No candidate is.

“But he’s weak on foreign policy”. He could appoint his motorcycle Secretary of State and have a better foreign policy team than the current occupant.

“He’s a warmonger!” No, he isn’t. Appearing strong and resolute leads to peace; begging for peace brings war.


But he’s got no charisma!”. Good God, people – voting for charisma is as likely to get you Barack Obama as it is Ronald Reagan. I’ll take an “uncharismatic” president who not only knows how to *talk* about drawing and holding lines, but *has done it, successfully, against brutal, ruthless opposition*, over some “charismatic” candidate for whom it’s all theory, however charismatically expressed.

Given a choice between Calvin Coolidge – an uncharismatic president who shrank government, getting it out of the way of epic prosperity – and a “charismatic” hamster like our current president, is it even a choice?

This is a lousy day for America.

OK, Fiorina and Rubio people. I’m listening

Brass Tacks

Scott Walker gets serious about domestic policy as Hurricane Donald enters its eighth week, launching a salvo at the public employee unions:

At a town hall meeting in Las Vegas, Walker will propose eliminating unions for employees of the federal government, making all workplaces right-to-work unless individual states vote otherwise, scrapping the federal agency that oversees unfair labor practices and making it more difficult for unions to organize.

Many of Walker’s proposals are focused on unions for workers at all levels of government, while others would also affect private-sector unions. Labor law experts said such an effort, if successful, would substantially reduce the power of organized labor in America.

Mr. Dilettante on why it’s important:

The key for Walker, and all the other Republican candidates, is to get specific and force The Donald to start getting specific as well. Trump wins if he gets to use the force of his personality to drive the debate. As long as the debate is about personalities and borscht belt insults, Trump the Insult Comic Dog will continue to dominate. He’s turned the campaign into a Friar’s Club roast (vid is NSFW, of course):

I’ve broken my usual cover early in this campaign, and been an “out” Walker guy since roughly sixty seconds after he won his re-election bid.  It’s always important for the GOP to put forward the right person; I think Walker, with the right VP (I like Susanna Martinez or maybe Nicky Haley) is that person.

If he can just get the GOP, and then America, to get the starry-eyed obsession with novelty and celebrity that led us first to Obama and then Trump, we could start going places again.

Game Afoot

SCENE:  Mitch BERG is prowling the aisles at Fleet Farm in Lakeville, looking for .22 Long Rifle ammo.  

He rounds a corner, and runs into Bill GUNKEL, former Republican and now chairman of the Inver Grove Heights chapter of “Former Republicans for Ron Paul”,

GUNKEL:  Hey, Merg!

BERG:  Hey, Bill.

GUNKEL:  The RINO statist John Kline is retiring from office!

BERG:  Yeah, Representative Kline wasn’t the most conservative congressman we’ve had.

GUNKEL:  He may as well have been a Democrat!

BERG:  Enh.  And in an R+2 district…well, bygones is bygones.  The real question is who’s gonna replace him?   I’ve heard talk of State Senator Dave Thompson, Mary Pawlenty…

GUNKEL:  Why elect another RINO?

BERG:  Um, what? Dave Thompson is a RINO?

GUNKEL:  He never criticized Kline!

BERG:  Er, why would he do that?

GUNKEL:  Why not?

BERG:  Violating Reagan’s 11th commandment by attacking other conservatives, even imperfect ones?  Alienating Kline supporters in his own district, to no benefit to himself?  Spending political capital on something that gains him nothing?

GUNKEL:  Gains him nothing?  He’d get the respect of the Liberty voters!

BERG:  You mean the people who bum-rushed the 2012 State Convention to send a slate of delegates to Tampa to make a symbolic vote for Ron Paul, and then largely went home and never came to another GOP meeting?  Who pushed Kurt Bills to the nomination, then abandoned him when he actually acted like he was part of the party that endorsed him?  A group that seems more focused on bashing Republicans than winning elections?

GUNKEL:  Principle!

BERG:  Right.  OK, so Dave Thompson is insufficiently pure.  Gotcha.  So who do you support?

GUNKEL:  David Gerson.  The only candidate to support if you care about Liberty!

BERG:   Gerson says all sorts of things I support.  I’ve got no problem with him.  I’d love to have him on the show.   It’s just that last go-around, he raised less money than a typical Saint Paul Republican legislative candidate.

GUNKEL:  So?   Money isn’t everything.

BERG:  Right.  But it’s a leading indicator.  If someone can’t raise money from supporters to run a campaign, it’s a fair question to ask whether they can raise votes.

GUNKEL:  Well, it’ll be different this time!

BERG:  Well, that’d sure make the race more interesting!   I think a solid, credible challenge from the Libertarian wing of the party would be a very good thing.   But the candidate – and especially his campaign – have got to ramp up the game.

GUNKEL:  Oh, we will, by the time of the election on March 1.

BERG:  Um, what?

GUNKEL:   We’ll get the support out in droves by the time the battle for all the marbles, on March 1, happens.

BERG:  Um, March 1 is the caucuses.

GUNKEL (looking confused):  Riiiight?

BERG:  Not the general election.

GUNKEL:   (Shrugs extravagantly, indicating non-comprehension)

BERG:  March 1 is when he’ll try to knock off other GOP…Oh, never mind.



If you listen to, read, or talk to me, you know I’m not a Donald Trump fan. Very, very, not.

But over the weekend, I listened to NPR’s “On the Media” program.  It’s NPR’s in-house out-house of media “criticism”.  I listen because it’s a fairly reliable barometer of the narcissism of the mainstream media elite, and because it’s a bottomless font of material.

Anyway – they ran a work of (intentional) fiction yesterday; a smug, sanctimonious, self-righteous, intellectually entitled fictional look back at a Trump presidency (adapted from an article in The Atlantic, or as we in the know call it, “American Progressive Project).

It’s narrated with smug unctuousness by one of NPR’s stable of voice-over people that can affect that perfect, detached, smug “NPR accent”. And even if you don’t like Trump – and I do not – you have to think “whomever the front-runner would be, they’d be doing the same, exact bit of fiction”.

And it started me thinking.

One of the current mainstream conspiracy theories is that Trump is a Pat Buchanan or, worse, Ross Perot figure, working the field to get ready for a third-party candidacy that, at best (Buchanan) dilute the GOP nomination process, and at worst (Perot) doom a GOP candidate.

But what if it’s the other way around?  What if Trump is merely playing this for big publicity, using his big turbocharged mouth to bring lots of attention to issues that’d be trayf for a legitimate candidate to broach, if not discuss…

…and soak up all the biased media’s hatred, allowing the real candidates to duke out the endorsement battle unmolested by Nina Totenberg and CNN and the rest of the Democrats’ PR firms?

A stretch?  Sure.

Implausible?  Maybe.

Impossible?  Who cares?

Thoughts While Listening To Some Ron Paul Supporters Debating Whether To Support Rand Paul

CHUCK (a city councilman): Hey, the hardware store is on fire! Everybody grab a hose and a bucket!

BILL: Enh. All politicians are corrupt!

CHUCK: Yeah, but the hardware store! Lots of flammable paint! If it goes, all of Mainstreet burns down!

FRANK: All politicians are corrupt!

CHUCK: Right, right, you don’t like politicians, I get it. But all of your jobs are about to go up in smoke…

AL: To pretend there’s any difference between one politician and another is just stupid.

CHUCK: Right, right, got that. Look…actual fire, here. Needs to get put out. Are you hearing me…

STEVE: they’re all crony capitalists…

(Crowd natters away as a large “FOOOM” sound is heard, as the hardware store disappears in a large, multicolored gout of flame)

BILL: See! What good did politicians do?