B. B. King: September 16, 1925 – May 14, 2015

Blues legend B. B. King has died at 89.

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Clinton Cash?

All the Sunday shows were abuzz about the recent book by Peter Schweizer , Clinton Cash.  In the book he alleges that as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton did state favors for donors to the the Clinton Foundation.  Despite any corroborating evidence Schweizer presents a plausible scenario where Clinton did a quid-pro-quo to donors.  Throw in the “secret” email server that has since been destroyed and you have all the makings of a conspiracy theory.

Clinton detractors say this is a smoking gun.  Clinton supporters say there is no there there.

Is Clinton guilty?  Possibly, but with all the hub-bub,  no one was reporting on all the possible Republican candidates making their way to Vegas to speak to the Republican Jewish Coalition.  This was an audition for gazillion-aire Sheldon Adleson, to see who was worthy of his campaign donations.  Mr Adleson is very particular about who he gives his money to.  If they can’t do something to advance his agenda, they get nothing.

In other words, they are guilty of exactly the same accusations against Ms Clinton.

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“All Campaigns are Contrived.”

That’s what political commentator Rick Unger recently observed.  He went on to say that really good campaigns don’t appear to be contrived.

So now we have the right saying that the Hillary campaign in Iowa was obviously contrived.  From the “Scooby Bus” to the meetings with “everyday people.”  They go so far as to claim that those “everyday people” were plants from the Hillary campaign.

Well perhaps some of that could be true.  She also hasn’t given any big speeches or given any press conferences.  But none of the Republicans running have given pressers either.

At the recent confab in New Hampshire, those Republicans who want to be president gave flourishing speeches.  They spoke of all things Conservative.  They spoke of patriotism and what it means to be a real, loyal, true American.  They spoke of “taking our country back.”  But mostly they spoke of “Hillary.”  And what they had to say was not nice.  In fact it was down right mean.  Snarky.  The crowd love that.  But none spoke of vision.  None had a road map on how to get there.

So the Republican campaigns are likewise contrived.  But no one is pointing this out.  Neither the left nor the progressive media nor the “liberal” mainstream media.  Does that make them good campaigns?

All campaigns are contrived.

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Pity Pence?

Poor Mike Pence.  Sign one lousy anti-LGBT discrimination bill and everybody jumps on you.  He had to spend his weekend “clarifying” the bill, saying it protects religious freedoms.  Its Hoosier’s 1st Amendment right!

Couple of problems Mike:

1. While it plays to your base, it’s political suicide.

2. It’s bad for business.  And Indiana needs all the business it can get.

3. It’s ripe for litigation.  Something about being un-Constitutional.

Now that you’ve taking a stand and saying the law won’t be repealed, you’ve got yourself a real problem.

 

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Bibi and Boehner

Speaker Boehner has invited Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to speak before a joint session of Congress about the U.S. – Iran negotiations on nuclear development.  The purpose of the speech is to destroy the negotiation efforts.  Netanyahu wants this because in order for him to maintain power he, and by proxy Israel, needs an enemy.  One posing an “existential threat” is even better.  Boehner wants this because he doesn’t want the President to succeed at anything.

Both want to do something to disrespect the President.  This is so nakedly political it’s embarrassing.  But then few who run for higher office are easily embarrassed.

The negotiations are absolutely the right thing to do.  The reason was summed up by a famous Republican:

The best way to destroy an enemy is to make him a friend.  — Abraham Lincoln

 

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Funding the Department of Homeland Security

The kerfuffle about the DHS funding bill centers on the Republicans upset at President Obama’s executive order on immigration reform.   It’s difficult to comprehend that during this time of ISIS the party of paranoid homeland security would try to block funding over this issue.

Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC), former Governor of South Carolina and infamous adulterer says that the reason he was voting no because he thought the executive order was unconstitutional.  When asked about bringing this before the federal courts, he stated that he was sworn to uphold the Constitution and as such was compelled to vote no.

Apparently Rep. Sanford hasn’t read the Constitution.  The specific purpose of the federal courts as stated in the Constitution is to rule if legislation, passed by congress  is constitutional.  Congress swearing to uphold the Constitution means that they will not knowingly pass legislation that would violate the Constitution.

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Brian Williams Suspended

NBC News has suspended anchor Brian Williams for allegedly falsely reporting an event that occurred when he was reporting from Iraq in 2003.  There are three interesting aspects:

First is that memories of traumatic events can be problematic.  Former CBS reporter Kimberly Dozier who was wounded in Iraq came to Williams defense stating: “Memories under stress are plastic. And over time, when you look back, things that you thought you remembered really well, they start to get fuzzy around the edges.”

Second, the media piling-on Williams.  From the snarky mean-girl Maureen Dowd to the cable channel talking heads and pundits.  It’s unseemly.  It’s unprofessional.  They use rumor and innuendo rather than facts.  It’s difficult to know the source of this schadenfreude.  Is it envy?  Is it resentment?  Is it a desire to get their name in the news?  Kicking people when they’re down says something of one’s character.

Third, it’s important to remember that while anchors started as reporters, they are very different jobs.  It’s a career change.  Anchors are rarely ace reporters, as ace reporters are so hard to find.   Ace reporters want to report and not sit in an anchor’s chair.   Anchors take stories from producers and either tell them or set them up for a reporter’s piece, whether they are in the studio or in the field.  The reporter is suppose to do the fact checking.

Williams may have let us down, either on purpose or inadvertently; or not at all.  What’s disappointing is seeing NBC News cave to the tabloid sharks.

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