It actually happened. Jon Stewart finally said goodbye to his desk at The Daily Show. But before he signed off, Stewart couldn’t resist encouraging us all to carry on his legacy of calling out bullshit.
“The best defense against Bullshit, is vigilance. So I say to you tonight, friends: If you smell something. Say something.”
Watch the entire segment. The conversation will sorely miss Jon Stewart.
The first 2016 Republican Presidential “Debate” is in the books.
To no one’s surprise, there was little actual debating. Instead we saw Fox News setting a narrative, and the candidates fighting to reset that narrative in their favor.
Although I have no love for the current Republican party, I can at least offer my views on who “appeared” Presidential, and their general chances at appearing on the GOP ticket.
The Adults in the Room
Obviously, Jeb Bush has the experience and credentials to lead. Bush is always articulate, but even as a Florida resident with no idea where these “accomplishments” took place, I’ll admit the guy knows how to sell his time as Governor. Dynastic ties notwithstanding, Bush remains the single most “Presidential” candidate of the bunch.
That said, the single most polished candidate in Quicken Loans Arena was Sen. Marco Rubio. Although I hate everything he’s done as Senator for my state of Florida, (worst missed-vote record of any current Senator) the man is a complete 180 from his 2012 teaser-run. Rubio conducted himself like a true, passionate, educated, leader, and did a kickass job selling himself as the only relatable every-man on stage. Well done, Senator. If Rubio isn’t on the ticket, it’s only because Bush is the lead and they couldn’t do two Florida boys. Regardless, the Sunshine State killed it in this “Debate.”
The only other adult in the room that could be trusted to lead our country was Gov. John Kasich. Not only is Kasich well spoken and passionate, he is the ONLY candidate who speaks to issues that are important to the entire country and not just the Republican Party. He comes across as a responsible every-man, not a billionaire puppet. With little national name-recognition, Kasich doesn’t stand much of a chance, but he could appeal to more than the extremists in his Party. Ohio loves it some Kasich, so its easy to see the Governor as a legit VP addition to win the extremely important state.
Appealing, but Empty
Donald Trump is a blowhard, but no one can deny the HYUUUGE gravitas and power he brings behind every moronic statement. When Trump’s in the room, people pay attention. Trump is NOT President material, but he carries himself like royalty, and everyone else is forced to play along. His presence controlled the entire debate. Unfortunately, most of what Trump offers is factless mumbo-jumbo that plays to fears, not real progress. Such behavior is not presidential, nor are the constant threats/insults he lobs at his critics. As host Megyn Kelly pointed out, his constant woman-bashing (and failure to apologize) will haunt him for a while. Trump might scoff at political correctness and brag about not caring, but careful selection of words is kinda important in diplomacy. Can anyone seriously imagine him sitting across the table from any other world leaders?
Gov. Chris Christie is another partisan blowhard selling his iron-fisted tendencies as a positive, but at least he showed up to play as the ONLY candidate to use statistics to support his points. Christie brings with him way too much baggage to be legit (that’s not a fat joke) but as one of the few with executive experience, he blatantly demonstrates how little experience the other candidates bring to the job. Baggage notwithstanding, I could see Christie as a legit addition to a ticket as VP who rolls up his sleeves to do the negative dirty work.
Gov. Scott Walker might be the Koch brothers’ favorite puppet stocked full of Reagan-love, but the man does not demonstrate any leader-like qualities. Walker delivers his studied lines well, but the college-dropout seems flustered every time he jumps off-script. Walker could not possibly appeal to anyone who doesn’t directly pay for his services, but he has to be respected because of the hundreds of millions the Koch brothers’ network are throwing behind him (and have for years). Likely no value as VP, so it’s probably President or bust for Walker.
Along for the Ride
Sen. Rand Paul seemed lost on the big stage – and looked even more foolish unable to respond to Trump’s digs. Although I actually like some of his ideas, Paul seems unable to sell his Libertarian platform to his party. Quite frankly, Rand doesn’t seem like he could be the lead on the ticket with anyone else on the stage playing 2nd fiddle as VP. He has VP bonafides at best, but there’s little to be gained by his inclusion.
Despite his campaign slogan, Sen. Ted Cruz is notoriously, the least-truthful person on Capitol hill. Cruz has no accomplishments to run on, no leadership ability (other than the government shutdown fiasco) and has completely shirked his Senate seat (one of worst attendance records in Senate) to run for president since elected 2013. Oozing sleaze and creepiness with each misinformed, manipulating breath, it’s no surprise that Cruz has to routinely resort to snake-oil sales tactics to rile up supporters. His performance in Cleveland was par for his sleazy course. Cruz is solely about Cruz. He’s everything to be despised of in a politician, and I can’t imagine anyone gaining anything from putting him on a ticket as VP.
Gov. Mike Huckabee is another who just seems to be along for the attention-grabbing ride. He’s just too entangled with religion to ever convince any non-Republican that he wouldn’t completely put the Bible over the Constitution. Further, other than griping – he just doesn’t appear Presidential. Huckabee could never be the lead on a ticket with anyone else on that stage as his VP.
Dr. Ben Carson is clearly just in it to be in it. A poor public speaker, he has all the gravitas of a junior high Typing teacher. As one of my friends put it, he was “the candidate they’d most likely hang out and smoke a j with.” When your selling point is that you promise to learn world issues by the time you get to the office, you’re not selling well. Can’t feel too bad for Carson — he still has brain surgery to fall back on. Not a legit contender for Pres or VP.
Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich breaks down the obvious dangers of letting billionaires like Charles and David Koch spend hundreds of millions to buy our government and force their views on America.
This information video from Alternate History Hub illustrates how the War on Drugs failed to dent American drug use, but still affected our lives in many ways.
Crime went up. Incarceration shot up. Hundreds of thousands of Americans could not find work after jail. Minorities were jailed in disproportionate numbers affecting their communities as a whole. Police departments became over-militarized. Drug dealers took over Central/South America. Leaders were toppled. Economies destroyed.
And for what?
What would all of the Americas be like if this ill-guided war never took place – and we treated abusers instead of incarcerating them? We will never know.
NOT WANTING YOUR CITY TO DROWN IS SUCH A LAME HOAX
A new study (currently under review) from some of the world’s leading climate scientists (and admitted alarmists) says that previous sea level rise estimates were way off base…things will get worse way sooner than previously thought.
The study—written by James Hansen, NASA’s former lead climate scientist, and 16 co-authors, many of whom are considered among the top in their fields—concludes that glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica will melt 10 times faster than previous consensus estimates, resulting in sea level rise of at least 10 feet in as little as 50 years.
…’We conclude that continued high emissions will make multi-meter sea level rise practically unavoidable and likely to occur this century. Social disruption and economic consequences of such large sea level rise could be devastating. It is not difficult to imagine that conflicts arising from forced migrations and economic collapse might make the planet ungovernable, threatening the fabric of civilization.’
But no need to worry about any of this, because some corporations have paid a lot of money for a few studies that say this is all a big hoax. Phew.