You know, the funny thing about politics is that the politician’s family is supposed to be off limits to the criticisms and slanders thrown at the politician. It seems like such a small thing to do, to leave the family out of the fray. I get that politics is blood sport now, but if MMA fighters started tearing into their opponents entourage, someone would call “foul”, right?
I think the “off limits” rule should apply as long as the politician’s family doesn’t decide to mix it up politically. Clearly the physical attack of Nancy Pelosi’s husband by a would-be assassin and the follow up character assassination by the right-wing nut job pundits is an example of how the family should be left out of the argument as long as they are not active themselves. That said, once you get into nepotism, the gloves can come off.
Just for grins let’s forecast a nightmare 2024 election result and the Donald has returned to the throne that he had built specifically for the occasion. He has named Don Jr. Secretary of Defense, Eric Secretary of Treasury, Jared Secretary of State, and Ivanka First Lady-in-Waiting. Obviously, family in that situation should be open to all of the scrutiny due the candidate. Of course, in that nightmare scenario, there would be no more agencies to provide scrutiny. The appointment of Rudy Giuliani to Attorney General and Roger Stone to head the FBI would negate any self- introspection of the administration.
All of that said, the Donald made his announcement this week that he is running again for dictator of the planet. Everyone’s favorite prevaricator formally threw his hat in the ring for the 2024 presidential race. The hat thrown into the ring was not the Donald’s hat actually, it was snatched from the head of a sycophant standing at ringside. The Donald loyalist is now working as a truck stop lizard to be able to earn enough money to replace the hat and continue their $19.99 a month commitment to Make America Great Again.
The announcement speech was offered to all of the networks and even Faux news cut away for a round table discussion while the Donald wandered aimlessly through the desert of his discontent. Interspersed with promises of taking America to places it has never been before, that hits an 11 on the “pucker factor” doesn’t it, the Donald regaled the audience with the abuses he has received from a free people exercising their rights. The famous wit and writer Molly Ivins might have commented about the diatribe, “It sounded better in the original German.” Which brings me to my point.
First wife Ivana said that the only book on the Donald’s night stand was of Hitler’s speeches. Over the years we have had ample examples of the Donald’s xenophobia, his racism, his bigotry, and hatred for anything that doesn’t fit his worldview of white supremacy. We’ve seen how this worldview plays out. There are parts of Europe that are still rebuilding from World War II, eighty years later. Rather than plagiarize Hitler’s Generalplan Ost why can’t the Donald and the republican party break out in a new direction and lead us to some place better than we’ve already been?
Of course, a new direction requires new thinking, a new plan, and the ability to communicate the new paradigm to others. It’s just easier to cheat off of someone else’s work, I guess.
With all of the mean despicable things being said on the campaign trail, all of the spiteful allegations back and forth, the insurrectionists still flaunting their guns and all of the election deniers denying the peoples’ will, I’d like to take today’s discussion to a higher level.
The act of legalizing recreational marijuana is underway in Missouri. Missouri, slab dab in the middle of all of those red states that want to take us back to the 1850s. Missouri is the 21st to legalize marijuana for adult recreational use. Somewhere in well-tended mausoleums, Messrs. Anheuser and Busch are spinning in their quiet repose. The millions spent on lobbyists to keep alcohol as the only legal over the counter sedative is going the way of the dodo bird. While more and more states make inroads in the legalization process whether by allowing “medical marijuana” or outright legalization let’s talk about those groups financially opposed to legalization.
1. Drug Companies – The drug industry spent 145 million on lobbying in 2015. No, not all of it was on marijuana suppression, but it was certainly a topic. How can you sell pain relief when it can be grown in a window box? Currently, California’s marijuana industry is worth about $5.3 billion dollars. New York’s first year of legalization was 2021 and estimates were that the revenue would be 1.1 billion. That’s a lot of Soma not being sold by the drug companies.
2. Police Unions – In addition to the billions received from the federal government in the form of grants for pursuing drug enforcement, many police jurisdictions enjoy the possibility of asset forfeiture when they make a drug bust. As long as marijuana is listed by the DEA as a schedule 1 drug, police departments will benefit from their pursuit of even casual users.
3. Private Prisons – The topic of private prisons has been covered before and there is no question that private prisons lobby on behalf of establishing as stringent laws as possible to protect their bottom line. “Heads” in the beds is their business model and reducing the number of incarceration offenses effects their profits.
4. Prison Guard Unions – For the same reasons as the private prisons, prison guards are self- interested in keeping the prisons full. The California Correctional Peace Officers association gave one million dollars to help defeat Proposition 5 which would have “reduce[d] the parole terms of nonviolent [drug] offenders.” It’s easy to see that Cheech & Chong would be easier to deal with than Charlie Manson.
5. Alcohol Companies – The American Alcohol industry has spent over
237 million in lobbying over the last two election cycles. We can assume that the money wasn’t all spent on dropping the legal age to 14. The alcohol industry’s self-interest is totally aligned with opposing legalization of marijuana for recreational use. From this study, “Compared to all other states that did not legalize recreational cannabis, Colorado households showed a 13% average monthly decrease in purchases of all alcoholic products combined. That fact seems to suggest that the alcohol industry is right to fear the legalization of the devil’s weed.
The CDC lists the following long-term effects of alcohol use:
- High blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, and digestive problems.
- Cancer of the breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, voice box, liver, colon, and rectum.
- Weakening of the immune system, increasing the chances of getting sick.
- Learning and memory problems, including dementia and poor school performance.
- Mental health problems, including depression and anxiety.
- Social problems, including family problems, job-related problems, and unemployment.
- Alcohol use disorders, or alcohol dependence
I guess you could say the stakes couldn’t get any higher.
Something that has been showing more bark than bite lately is the dialogue between the Republican establishment and their insurrectionist “there are no fair elections unless I win” candidates. Potential Trump heirs to the throne and likely vice president nominees are jockeying for favor with the “I’m crazier and meaner than you” crowd.
Once upon a time we had the expectation in this country of candidates that were above average, if not in intelligence, at least in morals and decency. Now we are faced with a race to the bottom of the human intellect in a dystopian future where only the crazies rise to the top. Clarification, the mean crazies. If the fate of our country, and the perception of the rest of the world were not issues, it would be laughable. As it is, it’s scary for all.
For example, John Boehner, former speaker of the House and friend to everyone not named Obama, described perennial candidate Ted Cruz as “Lucifer in the flesh.” In a speech at Stanford university, Boehner stated, “I have Democrat friends and Republican friends. I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life.”
Now from a contrarian point of view, that’s pretty high praise for someone who wants to be perceived as an outsider. You just know that Boehner has dealt with some really difficult personalities over the years, and to be called out as the number one SOB of them all is quite a prize. The Cruz did try to damage control the statement by pointing out that his inability to get along with any of his constituents in Congress just verified his “outsider” bona fides. I don’t think that I’ve heard a denial from Cruz about the Lucifer part.
To their credit, a group of Satanists have gone on record as saying, “Satanists do not “want” Cruz and that he “is everything opposite of what we represent.” I guess you’ve hit rock bottom when the Satanists won’t take you in.
There are certainly links here for Bible scholars. The story of Revelations tells of a false prophet who is believed to be the second coming of Jesus. It is widely stated that Cruz’s wife, Heidi, heard the voice of God telling her that her hubby would be the next President. Ted even used God’s intervention to explain his win in the Iowa primary against the Donald when running for the Republican primary in 2018. Ted’s Dad was out preaching to anyone that would listen that The Cruz was divined to win the Presidency to turn the tables on the wealthy. Sounds like the setup to a disaster movie where a guy becomes the most powerful man in the world and then turns out to be an absolute nutcase. Oh, that’s right, we’ve already seen that movie.
To offset the damage to his rep done by Boehner’s statements, and the rather sound beating in the primaries by The Donald, The Cruz has been on a mission from God/Satan to prove that he indeed is the most miserable SOB ever. This week, after one of the Maggats that had drunk too much of the Crazy Kool Aid tried to kill Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s husband, The Cruz helped spread rumors that the assailant was known by the victim, that the encounter was some kind of a meetup that went bad. The Cruz had not a whit of concern for the eighty-two-year-old man that had been bashed in the head by a hammer.
Not to be outdone in the race to the bottom of human cruelty, Georgia representative, Marjorie Taylor Greene announced that the attack was the result of the Democrats lax immigration policies. She went on to opine that if Paul Pelosi had been a “Second amendment gun owner” that he could have shot his attacker dead. To give the full depth of her depravity I must quote MTG’s Tweet, “It’s dangerous Democrat policies that led to Paul Pelosi being attacked.”
Evangelicals like The Cruz and MTG believe in The Rapture and that the righteous will be “called up” ahead of the rest of us. I would assume that his call to Heaven would be sufficient to get him out of the hair of the rest of us mere mortals. Although, if he is the “Second Coming,” I guess he gets to choose what he wants to do most. Take his seat at the right hand of God or run again to be President of the United States. Decisions, decisions, decisions.
One decision that should be easy for The Cruz is who to pick for his running mate. Picking one of the meanest hateful women on the planet as your V.P would be a fait accompli. No doubt she will accept. Her acceptance should scare the bejesus out of Cruz. MTG is someone who is willing to get down and roll in the mud for delusional Bible thumpers and Qanon nutjobs alike. What would be on her list of things that she wouldn’t do to get to sit behind the Resolute desk?
Like I said before, if the fate of our country, and the perception of the rest of the world were not issues, we’d be having a good chuckle. As it is, it’s scary, on a Biblical scale.