Category Archives: Politics

Leap Day Ramble

Due to the fraction generated when calculating how many revolutions of the earth occur during one orbit around the sun, it is technically still February today. But it sure feels like Spring here in Misery. The temperatures have been up and down like a yo-yo, everywhere from the 30s to the 70s, playing havoc with my sinuses and fooling the trees into budding early. The birds are getting pretty active around here too, but I can’t help thinking Winter will pull another drive-by on us.

I’m currently giving my hands and shoulders a break from wet sanding the PotatoCaster neck. I should have it ready to buff out by the end of the day. Then I can attach it to the body and begin shaping a nut.

Tomorrow is what is known in the politicking game as “Super Tuesday.” Several states hold their primary elections on the same day, and all indications are that Ghostface Hillah and reality teevee guy will extend their leads. It looks like the Republican establishment has just about reached the final stage of their grief and begun accepting the Donald as their likely nominee. It should be fun, over the next few months, watching the pundits who — rightly — denounced him for the xenophobic, fascist, racist, misogynist, egotistical buffoon he is publicly talk themselves into supporting him.

But what other choice do they have? Ted Cruz is a god-bothering asshole that even his friends don’t like, and Marco Rubio is nothing more than a telegenic parrot. Granted, that is normally considered a good thing in Republican politicians, but anyone with a functioning brain can see, in a debate with Hillary, Marco is going to be exposed as a 2.5-watt appliance bulb in a Xenon world. We’re talking dim, son, dim. (/Foghorn Leghorn)

I don’t believe in karma, but sometimes you really do reap what you sow. The Republican establishment, with the aid of the right-wing noise machine, has spent the last 7 years proclaiming to their rabid base that Michelle’s husband was hell-bent on destroying Amurka, and now they seem genuinely befuddled as to why that base is pissed off at them for not doing anything about it. The right-wing base may be “poorly educated” but they are smart enough to realize the establishment doesn’t really believe the accusations they throw around to get elected. The scary thing is, the right-wing base does believe the bullshit. Every word of it.

So, keeping in mind that my political prediction skills are non-existent somewhat limited, here’s how I see this election going down. Hillz will carry about 45 states in giving reality teevee guy an epic beat-down, and on her coat-tails the Democrats will re-take control of the Senate. Then, upon taking office, she will nominate Michelle’s husband for the empty Supreme Court seat the Republicans refused to fill. All around the country, Republican heads will pop like teenager’s zits. It will be glorious to behold.

Is Peak Wingnut Just A Dream?

For my own health and sanity, I’ve been doing my level best to avoid paying any attention whatsoever to Republican politics right now, but honestly, no matter how studiously you look away from a dumpster fire, you can still smell it. As if the presidential primary wasn’t bad enough, the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has finally given Republicans in the Senate a reason to openly take us where they’ve wanted to go all along. They are refusing to do their constitutionally mandated jobs and hold confirmation hearings for the next Supreme Court Justice… because the preznit is a Democrat. The Republicans have decided that Democrats are illegitimate as a party and are refusing to govern with them.

Meanwhile, in the aforementioned primary, reality teevee guy is still bitch-slapping all comers. Things have gotten pretty desperate for my pre-season pick. Word on the intertoobz is Jeb(!) has dragged big brother dubya away from his paint-by-numbers set to campaign for him in South Carolina. I refuse to go looking for video, just the sound of dubya’s voice would probably give me flashbacks. I might risk it if I heard he was about to start issuing apologies to the entire world — he could start with the Dixie Chicks and work his way up to Iraq — but not for his little brother’s pathetic campaign.

Seriously, Jeb(!), if you can’t crack the top 3 in this field, you need to hang it up. You are getting your ass handed to you by a reality teevee guy campaigning for Emperor, a religious nut-job campaigning for God-Emperor, and your own dumbass protégé from Florida, who only wants to be preznit because being a Senator is too much work.

From the outside looking in, it seems like the Republican party is currently destroying itself. I sincerely hope I am right about that, but I know that no matter what happens, whichever one of these furballs the rabid Republican base coughs up for the nomination, he is already guaranteed about 45% of the votes come November. And that is why I just can’t watch.

Fear Itself

It might be because I am currently fighting off my annual head cold that will inevitably sink into my chest causing me to cough all winter, but I’m feeling a little nervous lately.

For years I have made fun of the paranoia and outright cowardice that emanates from our political right wing every time a terrorist attack is carried out by Muslims. When a white guy goes into a church or a movie theater and starts stacking up bodies like fire wood, conservative Amurka will shrug and somberly say something inane about the costs of freedom, but, whether it happens in Paris or San Bernadino, there is something about the killers being Muslim that makes the right wing come unglued. It’s like they think Muslims have super powers.

On Sunday night, Michelle’s husband addressed the nation on this very issue, stating calmly and rationally — for the umpteenth time — that ISIL does not speak for Islam, we are not going to give ISIL what it wants, we are not going to war with Islam, we are not going to invade and occupy any other sovereign nations, and everybody needs to calm the fuck down. (Okay, not in those exact words.) Nobody was listening.

I’m feeling nervous because we are coming up on an election year, and since the GOP really doesn’t have any ideas beyond tax cuts for the wealthy, the clown car is playing up the fear. Donald Trump now says we need to close the borders (to Muslims) and shut down the intertoobz to keep ISIL from radicalizing our children. Of course, you can discount most things Trump says because reality teevee guy will say pretty much anything, as long as it keeps the cameras pointed at him. But the problem is, the rest of the GOP candidates are not putting any effort into calling him out on this stuff because they are afraid he will say mean things about them and make their poll numbers drop. This results in the entire GOP primary conversation moving into a dark and scary place. They’ve gone from the ludicrous debate about who would eliminate the most departments of our government to the truly insane argument over who would be willing to kill the most civilians in order to defeat ISIL.

Thanks to our complicit media, this nuttiness is spilling over into everyday life. I want to share with you some comments I copied from the intertoobz. They range from gun-fondling tough talk like this:

Before the victims’ bodies were even cold Dear Leader was blaming inanimate objects (guns) for the mayhem and charting a course for even more firearm restrictions by way of executive order (the Constitution be dämned — why let a serious crisis go to waste). Of course, had this happened in Texas the followers of the religion of peace would have, most assuredly, received return fire and the death toll would almost certainly have been lower.

Through lots of outright calls for a religious war (a really bad idea, says the atheist) like these:

However, the reality is in our doorway and turning a blind eye to this evil will only allow escalation as our leader has proven. We ALL must band together and drop the PC crap! God bless America!

**********

The animals migrating into Europe refuse to assimilate demanding the native people do the changing to accommodate their muslim culture.

On another matter, due to our politically correct culture, we will never face the truth about the % of muslims that support Jihad (radicals). There are many who will never physically participate in an act of terror that quietly support the genocide of the gentiles and there are many that will. I did a google search on the topic and there are surveys and studies that suggest the number is quite frightening.

**********

We’re not at war with terrorism — that’s just a tactic. We’re not at war with radicals — the so-called radicals are actually the most devout. We’re at war with Islam. Until we can stop the PC crap and face this truth we will continue to see an escalation in violence as the “religion of peace” follows the instructions set forth in their “holy” book in a quest for world-wide domination.

And of course, the preznit is a traitor:

Dear leader won’t stray from his plan on bringing in Syrian refugees. He’s clearly putting the American people at risk because there’s no way to screen people who you can’t properly ID or find their past. His actions and comments on this issue and the complete lack luster effort in dealing with ISIS makes you really wonder what side he’s really on. He’s a complete failure top to bottom. Our enemies no longer fear us and our allies no longer trust us, it’s a sad state of affairs my friends. 

**********

This all works in to the President’s agenda for the USA. He’s anti-colonialism and wants this country to become second rate. With this in mind look at what he’s done (or not done). To me it’s obvious. He feels that the US economy was built by the wealthy upon the back of the working stiff whom he thinks was taken advantage of in this effort. His liberal bend is so destructive to the noteworthy goals this country’s founders embraced that he really should be removed immediately…either by impeachment or military coup.

The “political correctness” trope comes directly from the GOP primary candidates. I don’t know where the “Dear Leader” stuff comes from, but it seems to be fairly common usage. I don’t listen to Rush and the gang on hate radio. Neither do I watch Fox News Outrage channel nor visit right-wing websites. And that sums up the point I was making about the campaign fear and hatred spilling over into everyday life; all of the comments I quoted above came from a single thread on a motorcycle forum I often visit in search of the latest farkles for my fancy German motorcycle. It’s getting harder to ignore the idiocy.

Clown Car Craziness

The Paris terrorist attacks have patriots all over Amurka cowering under their beds, alternately blaming our preznit and pleading with him to launch another pointless invasion of the Middle East. To his credit, Michelle’s husband has thus far resisted those calls. I wonder if he’s also resisting the urge to stand in front of a world map and say “Paris is in France. I’m not preznit of France.”

The Republican primary has gone full-frontal reality teevee, pandering to the rabid rump of their party. It’s a race to see who can make the most outrageous comment or promise to do the most unconstitutional things to Muslims. (And of course, the guy with the reality teevee resume and zero experience or knowledge of government starts flirting with fascism and jumps ahead in the polls.)

Charles Pierce has posted some thoughts on Ted Cruz basically accusing the perznit of treason.

As to repeating Daesh’s arguments, well, there were seven Christians on that stage, all of whom believe that we are in a Clash Of Civilization with some tech-savvy hoodlums, and all of whom believe in the political salience of the return of the 12th Imam. And it’s not the president that’s turning a group of vicious thugs into the vanguard of a worldwide caliphate—which, by the way, is exactly the way they think of themselves. It’s you guys.

If you haven’t bookmarked his blog for daily reading, you are really missing out. The guy is bringing it, every day. 

On Friday night, every single candidate expressed the view that the Supreme Court’s role in constitutional questions is largely an advisory one. Mike Huckabee stated flatly that a president simply should ignore Supreme Court decisions with which the president disagrees. Naturally, because this was the hay-shaking Bible-banging crowd, the discussion took place within the context of the Supreme Court’s decision in favor of marriage equality earlier this year.

Despite the mainstreaming of what were once extreme right-wing views, I hold out hope that a “rational right” still exists, but I fear they are what we now refer to as Democrats. After decades of a deliberate dumbing-down of our politics via the right-wing noise machine, the ignorant-and-angry, hollering-at-the-world crowd may be all that is left of the Republican party. We may have reached Peak Wingnut… post-factual reality.

 

 

First Sortie

Yesterday morning, as part of a reconnaissance mission prior to this year’s War on Christmas (© Fox News Outrage Channel), I ventured off the estate, masquerading as a irritable, middle-aged white man. For my disguise I used clothes from my closet and, uh… my face. I wanted to get a genuine feel for the area, put my finger on the pulse of the town, so to speak. I went to the barber shop.

Long story short, as far as intelligence gathering goes, I pretty much came up empty. Some highlights:

One of the barbers is a big Donald Trump fan. He thinks the Donald is saying all the things people want to hear. I suppressed my gag reflex and nodded sagely. Customers and barbers alike concurred that we don’t need any more foreigners in Amurka, especially here in Misery.

One customer, a loquacious and jowly man, said he would like to see Ted Cruz come up in the polls, since he was really the only “true conservative” in the race. I hadn’t been expecting weapons-grade stupidity so early in the day. I had to slip into the bathroom and do some breathing exercises to keep from having an anxiety attack.

When I returned, the topic of conversation had turned to Hillary Clinton. Whiteface Hill. Hillz. The Hildebeast. There was unanimous agreement that she represents a grave danger to all that is decent and holy, and it doesn’t matter who the Republican nominee is, as long as they beat her. I held my breath and waited for my opportunity.

It came when jowly voiced his concern that “some people are more interested in electing the first female preznit than they are in the damage these liberals are doing to the country. They already elected the first black preznit, and look where that’s got us.”

I commiserated. “Exactly” I said. “But I don’t see how she’s not the next preznit. She’s going to collect every vote Obummer did, plus she’s going to grab a bunch of the female vote from whichever Republican wins the nomination. I don’t see how they can stop her.”

The barber shop actually went a little quiet, and several people kind of shifted in their seats and glanced around like they smelled a fart. I watched jowly’s eyes go a little dead as the logic of what I had said sank in. One of the barbers nodded his head and allowed as how that sounded about right, as much as he hated the thought of it.

After a minute or so, jowly came back with one of those made-up-on-the-spot statistics about how 62% of the country thinks Hillary is an outright liar, and maybe that will stop her, but everyone there could see his heart wasn’t in it. He didn’t say much after that, just paid for his crew cut and left.

I took his place in the chair. I don’t know if the barber was onto me or he just had the shakes from a hangover, but he nicked me twice shaving around my ears and neck.

Neocon Redux

I had to work over the weekend, so luckily I missed most of the hand-wringing from our national press over the latest terrorist attack in Paris. The teevee was on in the break room, so I did catch a minute or two in passing when I popped in there every now and then to get a Snickers bar drink of water. On one such occasion, Sunday morning, I saw Jeb(!) Bush on Meet the Press, and he said something that stopped me in my tracks and left me standing there with my mouth open. From the NBC transcript:

CHUCK TODD:

Let me ask it this way. You heard, Ben Rhodes believes we are at war. The French president says we are at war. There are wars that are tactical, and then there’s a war against an ideology. How do you defeat an ideology, governor?

JEB BUSH:

Well, you take it to them in Syria and Iraq. You destroy ISIS. And then you build a coalition to replace this radical Islamic terrorist threat to our country and to Europe and to the region with something that is more peace loving. We have to be engaged in this. This is not something you can contain. Each day that ISIS exists, it gains new energy and more recruits around the world.

Whereupon Chuck Todd gave him the horse laugh and said “Come the fuck on, Jeb(!), how are we supposed to take you seriously when you come on the show spouting recycled talking points from your dipshit big brother’s disastrous clusterfuck in Iraq? We just spent a decade and a trillion dollars ‘coalition building’ in Iraq, and it failed so miserably that a big chunk of Iraq is now part of the Islamic State. And now you want a do-over? And this time double the fun by including Syria in the mix? Get the fuck out of here.”

Okay, I made that last part up. I wonder if Chuck Todd even noticed that Jeb(!) basically ignored his question. An ideology is a set of ideas or opinions or beliefs, and so, very obviously, not bound by any borders. Yet, when asked how to defeat an ideology, Jeb(!) promptly named two countries we need to invade pronto. Chuck Todd did not ask a follow-up question, but to his credit, a few minutes later, he did stop tonguing Bush’s ball sack long enough to ask this:

CHUCK TODD:

Some of your closest advisors, or who you put on paper, are people that were members of your brother’s administration. A foreign policy in the Middle East that essentially the American public rejected in 2008. Why should they trust you to bring back that same foreign policy?

JEB BUSH:

The world is going to be dramatically different in 2017 than it was in 2000. We need to be focused on the future. And this is a threat to Western civilization. There’s no way to deny this. This is how they’re organized. And containing ISIS isn’t going to work. Taking it out, we had the capability of doing it. And the focus ought to be on the future, not the past.

Seriously?!? The [insert enemy of choice] are a “threat to Western civilization.” “Containment doesn’t work.” We gotta “take ’em out.” We need to “look ahead, not backwards.” He’s just replaying dubya’s greatest hits, not even bothering to change the words. I thought Jeb(!) was just being loyal to his brother, but apparently he really doesn’t have anything new to offer. I can’t believe I picked this guy to win the Republican nomination. I need a do-over, too.

High-Octane Evil

It is only with age that one appreciates the importance of memories and realizes that knowledge without experience is merely data. I love that endorphin rush I get when some random bit of information triggers an avalanche of old memories. It must be why old people live in the past so much. It’s also why dementia is so frightening.

I can remember some specific things about the summer of 1977, but there are many more things that I simply know.

For instance, I know I was 14 years old; I remember looking forward to the fall when I would turn 15, and get that coveted driving permit.

I know it was the summer that Elvis died; I remember women my mother’s age losing their shit about that.

I know disco was all the rage, but I remember it as the summer of Bob Seger’s Night Moves and Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, both still among my all-time favorites.

I was far from politically aware as a kid, so I was oblivious to our misadventures in the Middle East, but I know 1977 was only a few years after the Arab oil embargo, and I remember my parents bitching about high prices and long lines at the gas pumps. I remember we had a new preznit who talked a lot about conservation and alternative energy sources. I know nobody was listening.

Which leads me to the cause of my little trip down memory lane; a lengthy (three parts so far) story I’ve been reading this past week at Inside Climate News. It turns out, in July of 1977, while I was busy getting the right side pants leg of my Levi’s Super Bells tangled in my bike chain, one of Exxon Corporation’s senior scientists was speaking to a committee of their top management executives:

…Black delivered a sobering message: carbon dioxide from the world’s use of fossil fuels would warm the planet and could eventually endanger humanity.

“In the first place, there is general scientific agreement that the most likely manner in which mankind is influencing the global climate is through carbon dioxide release from the burning of fossil fuels,” …

If you haven’t read this story — (and I highly recommend you do, here is Part One) — you are probably thinking Exxon just swept this information under the rug and continued with business as usual. But no, they did the right thing. They assembled a team of top-notch scientists and engineers, and spent millions to learn all they could about this emerging climate crisis.

Exxon responded swiftly. Within months the company launched its own extraordinary research into carbon dioxide from fossil fuels and its impact on the earth. Exxon’s ambitious program included both empirical CO2 sampling and rigorous climate modeling. It assembled a brain trust that would spend more than a decade deepening the company’s understanding of an environmental problem that posed an existential threat to the oil business.

Not only did they do the right thing, they seemingly did it for the right reasons. Internal memos show Exxon viewed climate change as an opportunity to conduct a project that would benefit mankind. It’s laughable to picture an international corporation doing something like that now, but astonishingly, Exxon actually helped create a good deal of the science they now routinely shit all over. From Part Three:

Through much of the 1980s, Exxon researchers worked alongside university and government scientists to generate objective climate models that yielded papers published in peer-reviewed journals. Their work confirmed the emerging scientific consensus on global warming’s risks.

Yet starting in 1989, Exxon leaders went down a different road. They repeatedly argued that the uncertainty inherent in computer models makes them useless for important policy decisions. Even as the models grew more powerful and reliable, Exxon publicly derided the type of work its own scientists had done. The company continued its involvement with climate research, but its reputation for objectivity began to erode as it campaigned internationally to cast doubt on the science.

As I noted above, there is still more of this story to come. We already knew the ending, now we have the beginning. The messy middle, the truth of Exxon’s reversal on this issue, will assuredly be about money. Notably, it came at the end of the Reagan administration, which ushered in our current era of government de-regulation and unconstrained corporate greed.

I can’t help thinking about the Butterfly Effect and all the other possible outcomes. Where would we be now if Exxon had continued down its path of corporate responsibility? Or if Amurka had listened to Jimmy Carter and begun constructing an alternative energy infrastructure in the ’70s? Would our lust for oil have abated by now? Or would we still be reeling from one catastrophe to the next in the Middle East?

Does it even matter any more? We are all pretty much powerless to do anything about it, so we might as well relax and listen to some tunes. Sing it, Stevie.

Now here you go again
You say you want your freedom
Well, who am I to keep you down?…

Carnival Barker

What happens to our participatory democracy when Fox News Outrage Channel and the rest of the right-wing noise machine spend a couple of decades proclaiming that government is evil, greed is good, education and intelligence are elitist, scientists and teachers are anti-Amurkin, and we must all hate and fear the wicked brown immigrants? Eventually the target audience gets the message, and you end up with a fucking cartoon character leading in the polls for the Republican nomination for preznit.

In Alabama, 20,000 people showed up to a rally for Donald Trump. He has tapped right into the hateful core of the Amurkin right wing, the teabagger rump of the Republican party. The people who send you those chain e-mails with pictures of Michelle’s husband with a Hitler mustache or a bone in his nose and a spear. You know, sweet little old ladies from Pasadena. Like this one.

Cheryl Burns, 60, was on a road trip from California when she heard that Trump would be in Alabama. She turned her car around and got in line, warning people of what happened to states when liberals took them over.

“There is no more California,” Burns said. “It’s now international, lawless territory. Everything is up for grabs. Illegal aliens are murdering people there. People are being raped. Trump isn’t lying about anything — the rest of the country just hasn’t found out yet.”

Wait… What now? It just so happens, I have a friend – I’ll call him Chuck – who recently moved to California. I’ve spoken to Chuck by telephone several times since his move, and not once has he mentioned any concerns that the state he resides in – one of our largest and most populous – might no longer exist. In fact, just a couple of days ago, Chuck was extolling the benefits and advantages of his new home compared to his old one here in Misery. He went on and on about things like low humidity and no mosquitos and good wine. He even waxed poetic about how dust from the ongoing severe drought and smoke from the wildfires combined to render spectacular sunsets. (Chuck is a glass is half-full kind of guy.)

I realize this is merely anecdotal evidence. It’s entirely possible that California truly is gone, and Chuck was speaking to me with a government minder at his side, perhaps with a gun to Chuck’s – or his wife’s – head. But while it’s true that I no longer watch the Fox News Outrage channel or listen to hate radio, I find it hard to believe that no other media outlet would cover a story this big.

No, I think it’s far more likely that Cheryl Burns is just nuttier than Chinese chicken salad. But this rally was in Alabama, so you just knew some of the local morons would really bring the crayzee. Like this guy.

“Hopefully, he’s going to sit there and say, ‘When I become elected president, what we’re going to do is we’re going to make the border a vacation spot, it’s going to cost you $25 for a permit, and then you get $50 for every confirmed kill,’ ” said Jim Sherota, 53, who works for a landscaping company. “That’d be one nice thing.”

See, Jim just wants to kill him some brown people and make a few bucks in the process. Besides, killing Messicans sure beats the hell out of running a weed whacker all day. And he knows Donald Trump won’t let big gummint get in the way by creating regulatory roadblocks and taxing his bounty. No sir, Trump will let the free market work!

Less Is More Better

As anyone who knows me or has read this blog will attest, I have virtually no respect for organized religions of any denomination or flavor. On an individual level, I’m usually okay with religious practitioners, it is the purveyors who push my buttons. I try to be courteous to every one I meet, but I admit that courtesy is often a thin veneer. I can be a bit of a dick to the religious, especially if they knock on my door and try to “share the word” with me.

Despite my lack of respect for pretty much everything he stands for, over the last couple of years I have found myself becoming an admirer, if not an outright fan, of Pope Francis. Part of my admiration comes, sadly, from just how refreshing it is to see a Christian leader exhorting his flock to genuinely live their lives according to the teachings of Jesus Christ. (You know, the guy their religion is named after.) But the main reason I am liking this guy so much is that he is pissing all the right people off. The hateful, selfish assholes that call themselves Christians here in Amurka are just not down with all this talk about loving thy neighbor as thyself and feeding the poor, and they really don’t like this hippie Pope calling them out on their hypocrisy.

Case in point, Pope Frannie released an encyclical last week that seems designed to cause Republican heads to explode. It is subtitled On Care For Our Common Home, and in it, the Pope gets his environmentalism on. The first chapter alone has subsections about pollution and climate change, water scarcity, loss of biodiversity and global inequality. I haven’t finished reading it yet (it is looonnnggg and I am laaazzzyy), but I did run across one bit where the Pope lands a couple of shots on that old dead horse I often beat; the myth of infinite growth.

Men and women have constantly intervened in nature, but for a long time this meant being in tune with and respecting the possibilities offered by the things themselves. It was a matter of receiving what nature itself allowed, as if from its own hand. Now, by contrast, we are the ones to lay our hands on things, attempting to extract everything possible from them while frequently ignoring or forgetting the reality in front of us. Human beings and material objects no longer extend a friendly hand to one another; the relationship has become confrontational. This has made it easy to accept the idea of infinite or unlimited growth, which proves so attractive to economists, financiers and experts in technology. It is based on the lie that there is an infinite supply of the earth’s goods, and this leads to the planet being squeezed dry beyond every limit. It is the false notion that “an infinite quantity of energy and resources are available, that it is possible to renew them quickly, and that the negative effects of the exploitation of the natural order can be easily absorbed”.

I don’t know how much effect this encyclical will have, but the Pope is certainly the most powerful individual thus far to come out and say that we — the human race — need to stop shitting in our nest. We’ve got to figure out how to fly this rock more carefully and respectfully. It’s the only one we have.

Yawn

I see dubya’s little brother made it official yesterday. Surprising exactly no one who has been paying attention this past year while his Political Action Committee amassed a hundred million dollar war chest, Jeb(!) announced he is running for preznit. And despite the crowded field, the GOP nomination is his to lose.

These primaries are going to be epic. The rest of the GOP candidates are going to savage Jeb(!) like hyenas on a rotting zebra corpse. But the only real challenge Jeb(!) faces is learning how to distance himself from a brother whose policies were so imbecilic as to cause this country to elect a black man preznit. Twice.

The general election won’t be near as much fun, though. The (roughly) half of our population that follows politics in this country and has “known” for at least a year that our choices for preznit in 2016 are going to be Hillary and Jeb(!) are about to suffer through two billion dollars worth of campaign advertising aimed at the half that doesn’t. Might be a good year to kick that teevee habit.