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The Middle Finger Mob

By 8.31.15

I don’t blame Donald Trump supporters for being angry. Angry with government, angry with the fecklessness of the GOP, angry with fellow voters imprudent enough to re-elect Barack Obama after seeing the harm he caused in his first term, angry with the use/abuse of American law and generosity by those who have “anchor babies” or participate in “birth tourism” to gain taxpayer-funded benefits if not de facto citizenship.

I disagree with those who say Trump’s supporters aren’t actually angry; after all I’m angry about those things too. Who doesn’t want to flip off this presidency (and certain aspects of the last one), this Congress (and the last ten), and even the Supreme Court at their wanton abdication of their oaths of office to protect and defend the Constitution and faithfully execute the laws of the United States?

Play Ball

Vin Scully — An Appreciation

By 8.31.15

For the hard-core baseball fan, which regular TAS readers know me to be, there are certain dates on the baseball calendar we look forward to and celebrate. Dates which renew us and lift our spirits. One is the day pitchers and catchers report for spring training. A big one is Opening Day. As is the beginning of the World Series.

In recent years another inspiring date for me has been the day Vin Scully announces that he will return to call Dodgers games for yet another season. This happy event took place during a game against the Cubs in Dodger Stadium Friday night, which I was happy to view on MLB-TV. The news that Scully’s distinguished, long-running career will continue to run is always good news for fans of baseball, the English language, and civil discourse. The soothing Scully has been turning Dodger games into poetry since Harry Truman was president and the Dodgers were in Brooklyn.

Special Report

Scurrying Rabbi(t)s

By 8.28.15

Three hundred and forty — count ’em — Reform and Conservative rabbis have signed an open letter to the United States Congress, asking the members to vote to confirm the deal negotiated between John Kerry and the government of Iran. They are taking whatever moral, ethical, spiritual, and religious chips they have and trying to cash them in for political capital.

Interestingly, the number of three hundred and forty, when converted into Hebrew letters (the sh sound has a value of three hundred and the m sound equals forty) can spell either ‘sham’ or ‘shame.’ Both of these fit nicely here, as we have sham rabbis whose behavior brings shame upon them and upon the religion they presume to espouse.

Although this is terribly disappointing, it is hardly surprising. These so-called clerics have long since abandoned any moral link to Judaism as a guide to proper behavior and character.

The Nation's Pulse


By 8.28.15

Vester Lee Flanagan, who wore an Obama sticker while covering the elections in 2012, never got the memo that becoming the story serves as the journalist’s nightmare, not his dream.

Flanagan offered political, racial, and even divine motivations for shooting two former colleagues to death live on local television on Wednesday. The reasons read more like rationalizations. Crazier than crazy projects reason upon unreason. One of the healthiest developments in America’s collective mental health involves society’s increasing rejection of the stated, often hifalutin, causes for murderous acts in favor of an acceptance of the explanation articulated by a drooling, shiny-eyed nutter’s stare.

Special Report

Things Louisiana People Will Tell You About Katrina, Part Two

By 8.28.15

Earlier this week, the first installment of our 10-year Hurricane Katrina retrospective focused on the fact that Louisianans weren’t quite so much enamored of the “Bush’s fault” narrative the national media established to describe the poor response to the devastating storm and held the responsibility a bit closer to home.

But there is a good deal more to what you might have heard about Katrina that the people who lived through it and have spent the past 10 years trying to get beyond its effects simply don’t agree with.

First, as we discussed in the first installment, George W. Bush is not seen by the majority of Louisianans as the villain of the storm. That is not meant to say that the federal government is highly regarded for its performance where New Orleans is concerned.

For example, remember the meme about how global warming caused Katrina? That one doesn’t impress too many people in Louisiana.

Another Perspective

Fatal Attraction: Donald Trump and the GOP

By 8.28.15

Who can forget the Glenn Close character in the 1987 movie, Fatal Attraction? That was Alex (Alexandra), a woman spurned, but one who refuses to go away — and will stop at nothing to rekindle her passionate weekend affair with Dan Gallagher, an otherwise happily married New York attorney, played by Michael Douglas.

For old-guard Republicans, Donald Trump is Alex, the high-powered but destructive vamp, who comes out of the family bathtub swinging a knife, while poor old Jeb Bush has the role of Beth Gallagher, the sweet, pretty, but (Trump got this right) “low-energy” housewife.

Order is restored at the end of the movie. In the final scene, after the police have come and gone, Dan and Beth embrace — reunited — and proceed upstairs, as the camera focuses on a feel-good picture of the happy pair with their teenage daughter.

Safe to say, that is not the way that the current political psycho-drama starring Trump, Bush, and a cast of more than a dozen other presidential aspirants is playing out.


Trump’s No Chump (From February 2000)

By 8.28.15

(This review is taken from The American Spectator’s February 2000 issue.)

The America We Deserve
Donald J. Trump with Dave Shiflett
Renaissance Books / 286 pages / $24.95

Reviewed by Dave Shiflett

Editors’ note: No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you: This review is indeed written by the writer who co-wrote the book under review. The age of New Politics demands new approaches. So enjoy this New Review.

President Trump—now there’s a bold concept for this new millennium.

It’s not for everyone. Donald J. Trump, the nation’s most flamboyant billionaire, has deeply alarmed the political class by threatening to wade into its most sacred process and buy its most exalted office-without its permission! Politics Inc. is outraged. Murdoch’s Beltway Standard goes so far as to call Trump a chump—on its front page! Other Toadtown analysts, including the Washington Post’s fashion writer, insist the man has no substance.

The Congressional Spectator

Senators Slippery on Iran Deal

By 8.27.15

The authors of our U.S. Constitution envisioned Senators as serious-minded leaders. Now many act like weasels. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) , Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), and Cory Booker (D-NJ), and others — some 18 senators in all — give slippery, noncommittal answers about the proposed deal with Iran and claim they are studying the issue. Sorry. They’re dodging the issue. 

Watching these senators avoid taking a stand is nauseating. If this deal is approved, our children will face the threat of a nuclear war with Iran. These senators are not worried about that. They’re looking out for their own political futures and squirming under pressure from the White House to support the deal, while opponents warn that the deal is a serious threat to America and a death sentence for Israel.

These senators are gaming the system. If the President appears to have enough votes without them, the White House will quietly release them to vote against the deal. Otherwise, they’ll have to vote with Obama, the safety of our children and Israel be damned.

Media Matters

Jorge Ramos Gets Trumped

By 8.27.15

Jorge Ramos played the race card in an Iowa press conference.

Donald Trump would have none of it. Bravo.

So as the scene unfolded on CNN, there is Donald Trump in Iowa, holding a press conference.

And from off screen comes this insistent voice — barely heard as there was no microphone for the unidentified speaker. But even barely heard it was clear whoever it was had a cause to promote — an agenda. Trump, the anti-Hillary who repeatedly talks to reporters of all stripes, all networks, all publications, was clearly in the process of calling on another reporter. The speaker was having none of this. He demanded attention from Trump — right NOW! 

As it came clear that Trump — no Bernie Sanders he — was not going to be bullied by whomever and would actually run his own press conference — the cameras pulled back to reveal the rude guy.