Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Obligatory Democratic National Convention Review

Oh well, another week and another political convention.

The Democratic National Convention convened on Monday night in Philadelphia, the home of the people that boo Santa Claus.

Appropriately enough, the convention began with people booing the invocation. That's the modern day Democratic Party.

The reason for the boos was the leaked e-mails.

A website, WikiLeaks, published e-mails from party chairman Debbie "Wasserman" Schultz and other officials showing that they favored Hillary Clinton over Senator Bernie Larry David Sanders. This angered many supporters of Sanders who thought it was "not cool".

In fact, the e-mails showed Debbie "Wasserman" Schultz tried to become part of the one-per-cent: the one-per-cent of people that have actually seen "Hamilton". "Hamilton" is a hip-hop Broadway play about Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton who was killed in a duel with Vice President Aaron Burr. And you thought 2016 had some dirty politics.

It all sort of, kind of, worked out in the end. Debbie resigned. This didn't make the Bernie supporters happy because there is so much injustice in the world, man.

Fortunately, First Lady Michelle Obama spoke on Monday Night and reminded people that America has been the greatest country in the world since 2008.

On Tuesday Night, The Democrats trotted out former President Bill Clinton for one of his patented 12-hour speeches where he points his crooked finger, bites his lip, and generally takes credit for inventing every good and perfect thing in life.

However, President Bill's job, this time, was to "re-introduce" his wife to the American people because while many Americans see Hillary as a she-devil still others see her as an amoral snake.  President Bill sought to humanize her in his speech.

"Yeah, I remember the first time I ever saw Hillary. She was sitting in front of me in a class about something, I don't know what 'cause I was hung over. I would cheat off her paper. Anyway, there she was with her flared bell bottom blue jeans wearing a pair of Dingo boots. She had on these big old glasses. She had that greasy looking blond hair that she hadn't washed in a week. You're gonna laugh at this, but she was wearing this big gray t-shirt that had a picture of Snoopy as 'Joe Cool' and I don't think she was wearing a bra. I could always tell about that kind of stuff. She was wearing no makeup unless you count the Clearasil on her pimples. And frankly, she smelled like weed.  Boy, she was hot."

On Wednesday Night, the Democrats brought Vice President Biden, who gave the same speech as Melania Trump did last week. Ha, ha, just a little Joe Biden humor. Biden made the point that Donald Trump doesn't have the temperament or the experience to become President. By this way, this was also pointed out by Trump's 4000 opponents in the Republican primaries.

President Obama also spoke. His theme: Everything is awesome. Except when it is not. Then it is not awesome. Together, we can make it awesome. Some people want to make it awesome like it was in the past. While the past is awesome, it can never be as awesome as the future. Therefore, let's make the future awesome by electing someone from the past who will keep things the way they are: awesome.

Finally, Thursday night came and Hillary's big moment had finally arrived: her first speech as the first woman ever nominated by a major party to be President.

One problem: the way Hillary gives a speech.  Hillary puts a period at the end of every word in a sentence. On top of that, she shouts each word.

The Gettysburg Address by Hillary Clinton:  "FOUR. SCORE. AND. SEVEN. YEARS. AGO."

To be fair, yes, Trump shouts too. Trump's speeches sound like he has ADD. I halfway expect Trump to say "LOOK! SQUIRREL" in the middle of his speeches.

Hillary's speech said THAT. THERE. WAS. NOTHING. WE. COULDN'T. DO. TOGETHER. It was such an exciting, history making speech, President Bill was caught snoozing on camera.

So there we have it. America elects either a pompous baboon or a lying weasel.

Monday, July 25, 2016

The Obligatory Republican National Convention Review

I don't know whose big idea it was, but there is going to be another convention by a major American political party this week.  It will be The Democratic National Convention and it is being held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Philadelphia is the city of brotherly love and the city that boos Santa Claus.

Last week, The Republican National Convention was held in Cleveland, Ohio and it got off to a rocky start when Donald "J" Trump's wife, Natasha, gave a speech in what appeared to be English.

She said, "Four score and seven years ago..." which led people to think that she "plagiarized" Michelle Obama's 2008 speech at The Democratic National Convention.

Actually, no disrespect to The First Lady, but I have a hard time not believing there weren't some shenanigans going on behind the scenes.

For one thing, you would really have to listen very carefully to Mrs. Trump to understand what she was saying.

Secondly, I can't believe anyone listening to that speech would have said, "Wait a second, that sounds just like what Michelle Obama said in 2008".  I wasn't aware The First Lady owned the copyright to the phrase, "Your word is your bond".

On the next night, began the parade of Trump kids, which is supposed to show that even though he is a horn dog of the highest rank, he did a good job with his kids. Hey, they could have been Kardashians.  To me, the Trump kids seemed okay, but I guess when daddy is a billionaire, you don't miss mommy so much.

On Wednesday night, Ted Cruz spoke and did not "endorse" Trump, even though Cruz signed a pledge promising to endorse the eventual nominee of the party last August. To be fair, there were a couple of complications.  Trump called Cruz's wife "ugly" and said his father was involved in either the Kennedy or McKinley assignations, if not both.

The lack of endorsement was pronounced as "political suicide" by all my buddies on talk radio, who for the most part were strangely silent on Trump's comments about Cruz's wife and his father, which, let's face it, are ape crap crazy.

Cruz's non-endorsement overshadowed the speech of the night by Trump's running mate, Race Bannon.  Sorry, Trump's running mate is Mike "Mike" Pence, the governor of Indiana. Pence's speech brought the convention to its feet when he said, "What have we done? Oh well, we've got to vote for him or we get four years of the She-beast in a pant suit!"

Donald Trump's Running Mate

The final night of the convention, Trump gave his acceptance speech.

His main theme:  Everybody is stupid except me.

His secondary theme: I am not Hillary Clinton

Assorted other themes: I will make good trade deals with "Chyna" because I am really really smart. Hillary Clinton is really bad. You don't have a voice but I hear you and I will be your voice. Ted Cruz's dad shot President Lincoln.  My hotels give you first class service, all the way. Hillary Clinton is a psycho-hag.  Everybody is bought and paid for except me because I am rich. Anybody seen Jeb Bush lately? Great guy but low energy. How about 'Lil' Marco?

The reactions to Trump's speech varied. Republicans said it was a "great" speech. The New York Times called it "dark" but to be fair, The New York Times has called every Republican speech since 1952 as "dark". Others called it "dire", "depressing", and my favorite : "dystopian", which is evidently the college word of the day.

This week, The Democrats respond. Hillary Clinton selected Sen Tim Kaine to be her running mate. He seems okay, unlike the last man she selected.

The First Man She Selected

Not much is really known about Kaine except he speaks Spanish. George W. Bush spoke Spanish too,  just saying.

Next Week: The Democratic National Convention Review.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Wine With Dinner

Drinks before dinner
and wine with dinner
and after-dinner drinks.
Single-entendre, help me, Rhonda
look for my cufflinks!
Come with me and you will see
it all will be all right.
Rudolph the red-nosed wino
is gonna guide our sleigh tonight   ~ Loudon Wainwright III

One of my favorite church jokes is how you can tell the difference between a Baptist and a Methodist.  A Methodist will wave at you at the liquor store.

I like to take the time to inform people that it is not your father's Evangelical Church out there. For example, you are more likely than not to see a grown man in shorts, during the summer, at your average Evangelical Church than to see him in a suit and tie.

A lot of Evangelical Churches has done away with the organ, piano, and choir. Now they have "praise bands" (note: my son plays lead guitar in one) and they sing "upbeat" contemporary songs that sort of sound like U2 if  U2 played "upbeat" songs.

The preacher comes out, sans robe or suit/tie combination and preaches. They no longer wear a lapel microphone, but rather this contraption that wraps around the ear and looks like something Garth Brooks would use.

Things have been loosening up at the old church house when it comes to alcohol.

think this was the doctrine I absorbed growing up in the church:  Drunkenness is a sin. Moderate consumption of alcohol is not a sin but should be avoided in case someone from the church sees you drinking and it causes them to drink and then they hop into a car and crash killing a family of five because that brother could not control his drinking because he saw you drinking and thought it would be okay, therefore, his sin is your fault. Evangelical doctrine can be tricky.

(Before I go further, I must acknowledge  there are some Christian denominations that see no problem with moderate and/or social drinking. We call them "Not Really Christian Christians".)

(The above is just a joke. Lighten up, Frances!)

The evangelical church has divided into two categories: the vocal abstainers and the silent imbibers.

If you were to guess, you would guess the abstainers are in the majority. You would have guessed wrong. There is a whole lot of drinky-winky going on out there. However, unlike an Episcopalian (as an example), the average Southern Baptist (as an another example) would not feel comfortable admitting that Miller is both less filling and tastes great unless he knew the person wouldn't rat on him to the Preacher.

It has even affected some members of the clergy.

Perry Noble was the pastor of  NewSpring Church, which is a Southern Baptist church with a name that wouldn't horrify non-Baptists.  It is the largest church in South Carolina with a membership of over 30,000.  That's a lot of Baptists.

He was fired from NewSpring due to  "personal issues related to alcohol".  Like with most church firings, only a few people know what happened. I don't know if he was an alcoholic or had a piece of rum cake at a Christmas party. All I know is that he is gone and it is hard for a preacher to get another job like that.

It is always sad with something like this happens because it disillusions the faithful and it confirms the suspicions of the non-believers.  You wonder how somebody could put himself in such a position. It is not like the dangers of "alcohol" are not known. It has been in all of the papers.

Some of it has to do with the "coolness" factor, which will bring down any Evangelical leader. This church's praise band once opened an Easter  Service with AC/DC's "Highway To Hell".  The connection to Easter is lost on me.   If I had to bet (oops, another sin), I would bet Noble wanted to be cool and all the cool people drink.

Plus, he was a real big fish in a real small pond. 45 years old with the largest Southern Baptist church in South Carolina and he probably got too big for his britches, as my mom used to say. Some guys in that position think they can do no wrong.

Before anyone says the "J" word: I do not judge drinkers or nondrinkers.  

Drinkers seem to get bent out of shape because non-drinkers might judge them. It is just my casual observation but there's a lot of judgment going around on both sides. The abstainers think the imbibers are a bunch of sots, lushes, and Foster Brooks wannabes.  Imbibers think abstainers are a bunch of blue nose prudish wet blankets who wouldn't know how to have a good time if it bit them on the leg, which is probably a sin too.

Alcohol always promises a good time and enhances a social gathering. Sometimes it does. Sometimes it doesn't.

I worked in a convenience store while in college and I saw a lot of drunk people and none of them were close to being the most interesting man in the world.

One time, this guy got into a fight with a car full of college students because one of them called his wife "a whale". He had every right to be mad, but there were about five college guys versus one scrawny guy. He lost the fight. He was drunk.

Another time, a man came in and told me, in graphic terms, about what his wife liked in the bedroom. His wife worked at my bank as a teller and I saw her once a week for years. He was drunk.

But, I've also seen people drink and handle it well. If they want to drink and don't make you pay for it, it is a win-win for everybody.

For the record, I describe myself as a teetotaler, however, I have drank TWO beers in the past year. One in August in New York City and one in April for my anniversary.  I had wine with dinner during the cruise I was on. I know, I'm a party animal.

Booze is something I really don't enjoy and I can literally take or leave it.  If you don't like that, well, pray for me.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

A Quarter In The Voting Booth

Oh well, you didn't really think Hillary Clinton was going to be indicted, did you?

"Let's see what Manis has posted on Facebook."

We've seen this movie before and we should have known the ending.  Clintons don't have to pay for their "mistakes".  They live above the law. It's their world and we're just all squirrels.

I'm not going to review all of FBI Director Comey's comments except to say for a while I thought he was going to push for an indictment. It didn't sound like a ringing endorsement for Future President Secretary Senator Clinton. He called her “extremely careless” in using a personal email address for sensitive communication.  That's a term you want to be ascribed to your President: “extremely careless”.

But it seems he just figure, "That's just a Clinton being a Clinton" like they used to do on the show "Family Matters" when Urkel set off a nuclear device at the high school dance. "Did I Do That?" should be the motto of Clinton's campaign.

What Do You Mean It Was Classified?

Of course, Donald Trump reacted to the news by going on Twitter.Trump reacts to everything by going on Twitter. He said something like "OOOGA, OOOGA, OOOGA. CROOKED HILLARY. BAD"

We finally have the Democrats where we want them: a candidate with a charisma-deficient under FBI investigation and our candidate is a baboon.

So here we are. One party's candidate is a "congenital liar" to quote William Safire. A bird has to fly, a fish has to swim, and a Clinton has to lie.  Bill and Hill are amoral skunks.

Meanwhile, The GOP's candidate is as crazy as a Betsy bug. I don't care how much money he has or how many buildings has his name on it. The guy is a nut, Andy.

So what am I going to do?  I think back to my parents.

As I have mentioned before, my dad, Old Man Manis, was a "Yellow Dog Democrat". That means he would vote for a yellow dog if the dog was a Democrat. How my dad would know the party affiliation of an animal is beyond me.

My mother, Inez, always emphasized that you should vote for the "best" candidate you can, regardless of party.  Sometimes, she said, you have to "hold your nose" and vote for Nixon.

Now Inez was not above voting for a Third Party Candidate.  In fact, she was one of those "Ross Perot" voters, who helped get us into to the mess we're in now. (She didn't like George H.W. P.D.Q Bush. She thought he was too preppy.)

So I decided to read up on Gary Johnson, the candidate of The Libertarian Party.

Dude, got any munchies?

What are Libertarians? Libertarians are pot smoking Republicans and Gary Johnson is a joker, a smoker, and a midnight toker. He's the first candidate, since Rutherford B. Hayes, to admit to recreational marijuana use. He says he has given it up for the campaign.

Besides the marijuana use, he just seems like a nut. Not Trump level Defcon One nut, although he has promised to call Trump a slang term for women's genitals if he's included in the fall debates. "Vote Gary Johnson: He'll Call Trump A Dirty Word".

I have no idea how I'm going to vote.  On one hand, I don't want Crooked Lying Hillary and President Bill back in the White House dialing for dollars.  On the other hand, Trump makes me ill. Like the hit song said, I don't know how to love him. Whatever y'all see in him, I don't see it at all.

I may take a quarter and just flip it in the voting booth.