Thankful and Thoughtful

The Winbush Family

Thanksgiving 1970 with the Winbush Family (L-to-R: Jeff, Truman Jr., Sheryl, Patricia, Michael and Estella Winbush with Truman Sr. taking the photo)

Happy Thanksgiving.   Unless you’re a Native American.  Then you have a reason to have mixed emotions about today.

I don’t have any deep pronouncements or thoughts about this day.   I sleep by day, work by night and in between I’ll watch football games with teams I don’t care about until it’s time to dine with my family and try not to overeat.

I’m thankful for the health of my wife and kids who aren’t kids anymore.   I’m thankful for having a roof over our heads and jobs that enable us to keep it there.

I’m thankful for having health insurance when I got sick and I’m hopeful that while the Obamacare roll-out has been a mess that things will get fixed and those millions of Americans without healthcare coverage will be able to buy some.

I’m thankful I live in a country where though I have government agencies playing like The Police and  watching every breath Americans take and every move we make,  we’re still free to complain about it, raise hell about it and if we’re pushed too far, do something about it.

I’m thankful President Obama isn’t as cruel, selfish, and stupid as many of his critics are.  I’m not sure Obama will go down in history as a great president,  but I’m certain he will be considered one of the thoughtful and smart ones we’ve ever had.

I’m thankful I still have my old music collection because I don’t hear much new music worth adding to it.

I’m thankful that while we have to scuffle and scrape sometimes to make the ends meet, they meet enough that we’re able to give something to charity and enable others not as fortunate to have a Thanksgiving dinner.

I’m thankful there are more good people in the world than bad even if the bad people get all the attention.

I’m thankful for every day I have had and as many as I have left.   I’ve got things left to do and I’m not working on a bucket list yet.

I’m thankful for every chance to get right tomorrow what I got wrong today.

I’m thankful for those that like me because of something I’ve said, done or written as well as those that dislike me for the same reason because if you have no critics, you’ve had no success.

I’m thankful because there was a time this year I wasn’t sure I’d even be here for Thanksgiving.

I’m thankful because I have more reasons to be thankful than not to be.

If this guy can be thankful after the last few weeks he’s had, how can I not be?

Harry Blows Up the Senate to Save the Senate

Hey Republicans, don’t be mad you didn’t do it first.

Imagine you’re a member of the U.S. Senate and you’re part of the Democratic majority, but you’re a moderate, firmly in the mainstream and the farthest thing from a bomb-throwing ideologue.   You don’t dislike all of your Republican colleagues on the other side of the aisle.  Hell, you might even like some of them more than the feckless Harry Reid or the smug Charles Schumer.

You came to Washington for a reason and it sure wasn’t to sit there on your hands because there is no legislation that can pass and no presidential nominee that can be confirmed because a simple majority isn’t enough to do it.  It requires a super-majority of 60 votes to get anything done and what it takes to get those 60 votes is sometimes a price too high to pay.

Take a real good look at Mitch McConnell, folks.  This is nobody’s romantic daydream.  How many times would you want to have to kiss that ass?

The president’s nominees to fill three vacancies on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals were blocked from an up-or-down vote by the GOP’s refusal to allow one. The Ninth Circuit is second only to the Supreme Court in the importance of the cases it hears. The president’s ability to appoint judges to the federal judiciary is perhaps his most lasting legacy and the Ninth Circuit is where many future Supreme Court nominees come from. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) led the charge to keep Obama’s nominees off the Ninth Circuit saying they weren’t really needed (as if Grassley would be saying the same thing had Mitt Romney won) and he in effect dared Harry Reid to go nuclear.

The reason the GOP opposes everything.

Reid called Grassley’s bluff and by a 52-48 vote (with three Democrats defecting and joining the Republicans)  modified the rules to allow a simple majority to approve presidential nominees and appointments,  but permit the filibuster for legislation and  Supreme Court nominations (which means Ruth Bader Ginsburg had better stay healthy).    Now the president’s nominees will get the vote and presumably the confirmation they should be considered for. It wasn’t a matter of whether they were qualified. It was a matter of the Republican strategy to oppose the nominees because Obama picked them.

The late liberal Senator Paul Wellstone said, “If we don’t fight hard enough for the things we stand for, at some point we have to recognize that we don’t really stand for them.” Republicans have fought very hard to stand in the way of President Obama’s nominees regardless of their qualifications and finally the Democrats grew a collective spine and chose to fight back for what they stand for.

Republicans will fume and fuss and threaten dire consequences for the Democrats when they are in the minority. The Democrats will shrug and say, “Bring it.” It’s not as if there’s much left in the way of bipartisan legislation coming out of the upper chamber before Reid and the Dems dropped the bomb.

The Senate Democrats finally woke up to a fact the Senate Republicans had been hip to for years: the “rules” had ALREADY been changed. The 60-vote super majority worked only so long as senators were willing to compromise. The Republicans don’t do that anymore and have used a rule the Senate made to govern itself to make the Senate ungovernable. What happens next? The Republicans will vote for or against the President’s nominees–as they are Constitutionally bound to do.   The worst part about revoking the ability of the minority to foil the will of the majority is it makes the Senate Republicans do their freaking jobs.

It had to end someday. Sometimes you have to be willing to fight for a short-term gain even if you lose in the long run.

When your computer won’t boot up correctly, videos won’t stream, pages won’t load and the damn thing just sits like a big useless lump that doesn’t work, you can always sit there wishing and hoping and praying it will start working. Maybe if you talk sweetly to the computer and promise how good it is going to be if it just starts working right. Maybe you’ll get lucky and it will start working.

Or you can just reboot the sucker and reset it and see if that gets it to working.

Last November, the Democrats won the presidency and increased the number of Democrats in the Senate. By playing “Let’s Make A Lousy Deal” with McConnell, the Dems permitted the Republicans to grind the Senate to a halt as if they had won.

That was foolish of the Democrats and all it did was embolden the Republicans to oppose ANY nominee no matter how qualified they were.  Reid got tired of playing Robin to McConnell’s Batman. It was time for the Democrats to remember they won the last election and start acting like it.

Mission Obstruct Obama has been a major success.

Mission Obstruct Obama has been a major success.

Of course the strategy has long-term implications, but so what? You don’t think Reid and the Democrats aren’t aware of the blowback from this change if or when the Republicans take control? It was a calculated risk based upon the possible gains versus the probable losses, but the Republican intransigence had reached new levels and there was NO hope they might negotiate on allowing the president’s nominees to receive a floor vote.

The GOP does not want to let President Obama’s judicial nominees to tip the ideological balance of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. They would not have a similar problem if it were Mitt Romney submitting a future Antonin Scalia. This is pure political gamesmanship by Senate Republicans who refuse to acknowledge they lost the last presidential election, so than accept the judgment of the American voters they hide behind a procedural trick to foil their will.

Harry Reid rebooted the Senate. I didn’t think he had the gonads to do it, but I’m glad he did.

Six Seconds 50 Years Later

The median age of the average American is 37.1 years of age which means for most Americans asking them where they were when Kennedy was assassinated gets the reply, “I wasn’t born yet.”

I was eight years old when President John F. Kennedy was shot which would have put me in elementary school and not at all concerned about assassinations, conspiracies and tragedies.   I’m sure at the time of my young life I was far more concerned with cartoons, playing with my friends and what mom was making for dinner than what happened in Dallas.

There are dates that are indelibly sketched onto the collective psyche and ancient memory of Americans.  December 7, 1941.  November 22, 1963.  September 11, 2001.    The killing of the president didn’t touch me directly.  I was too young for it to resonate for me personally, though I do recall my parents watching Walter Cronkite grimly relate what little was known about the shooting of Kennedy and the mysterious little man named Lee Harvey Oswald, the prime suspect in the assassination.

What I know about JFK I know mostly through history as I was far too busy being a child to care about what Kennedy did in his brief time in the White House.  Knowing now what I did not know then, I understand why Kennedy is so revered as a President.  He was young, handsome, charismatic, personable and brimming with potential for greatness, but Kennedy’s enduring popularity, as a Gallup poll in 2011 listed him fourth among the nation’s greatest presidents is still  based upon his potential than his accomplishments.

Oswald: A twisted little loser, brilliant assassin or just a patsy?

While I wouldn’t go so far as those arguing Kennedy was not a great president if you set aside the tragedy of his death and the understandable sympathy and warmth that Kennedy’s untimely end naturally provokes and just go on the record alone, Kennedy does come up a little short on the accomplishments end.

It was Kennedy’s vice-president and successor, Lyndon B. Johnson, who brought to fruition through his Great Society many of the ideas and goals of Kennedy’s New Frontier.   Without JFK to set him up would LBJ have succeeded so spectacularly well in finishing what Kennedy had started?

If not for his foolish escalation of the Vietnam War, Johnson might have stepped out of the long shadow cast by the murdered president, but Johnson wanted to finish what Kennedy had started and it tarnished his presidency beyond salvation.   While LBJ got so much more done particularly in making civil rights for Blacks a priority, his failure in Vietnam makes his overall legacy a decidedly mixed one.

We’ll never know all the answers to the questions of the Kennedy assassination.  50 years after the fact, a murder is still a murder and I don’t believe for a second a creepy little loser like Oswald pulled off the Crime of the Century all by himself.   Too many things fell right into the assassin’s lap to be sheer coincidence or dumb luck.    But too much time has passed and there are too many that might know the answers to Kennedy’s killing as dead and dust as he is now.

Kennedy is frozen in history and in the mind of the American people.   Many of those who weren’t around to draw breath when Kennedy drew his last one are skeptical of the Warren Commission report and disbelieving of its “long gunman” nonsense.    They’ve seen the movies, read the books, watched the documentaries, and heard the theories and they don’t believe the official story now any more than critics of the Warren Commission did then.

We will never know the whole truth of the JFK assassination.  We can speculate and ruminate until the corpse of Jack Ruby reanimates from the dead.  It’s not going to help.  All of the principal players are dead and gone. Any conspiracy that has held for five decades isn’t going to unravel when there’s nobody left to tell how it went down.

This does not sit well with anyone who admired President Kennedy for what he did and could have done had his life not been prematurely snatched away from both his family and his country, but it seems unlikely the full details of his killing  will ever come to light and just as unlikely that any answer would ever be accepted as the definitive.   The assassination of JFK is like a knotty and complex mystery novel with the last ten pages ripped out before the reader can learn whodunnit.

It remains impossible to fully process and assess what the promise of JFK’s presidency might have been as it remains frozen in time by six seconds in Dallas.

Presidents Obama and Clinton lay a wreath at the grave of their predecessor.

 

Trouble Every Day: Zimmerman, Again!

When you let a violent man walk, can you be surprised when he's violent again?

When you let a violent man walk, can you be surprised when he’s violent again?

George Zimmerman is in trouble again? Surprise, surprise.

No surprise. Not here. After all, his soon-to-be-ex-wife, Shellie Zimmerman said Boy George felt “invincible” after the not guilty verdict in the Trayvon Martin case.

The warnings were there before Zimmerman killed Martin. Since the verdict Zimmerman has been busted for speeding (twice) and a domestic abuse incident where he allegedly assaulted Shellie and her father. No charges were filed.

Bill O’Reilly reported on his show he had received e-mails from Zimmerman supporters suggesting Poor George is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).   What a load.   The ones suffering here are Zimmerman’s army of idiots and they suffer from the delusion this killer is sort sort of poor, persecuted “hero.”

Zimmerman is driving around free, buying guns and beating up knocked-up girlfriends.   Where’s the PTSD supposed to be in his devil-may-care lifestyle.   He has no job and he sure hasn’t missed any meals.   Outwardly, Boy George looks as happy as a pig in mud.

The guns of George Zimmerman. Ready for a fight?

These are the weapons that were in Zimmerman’s possession.

It appears from the artillery, George lives in constant fear for his life.

Good.

Look at the record.  Zimmerman has been violent toward cops, girlfriends and young Black men carrying cans of teas and bags of candy.   This is not a nice man who is simply misunderstood.

A thug will be a thug, a killer will be a killer and a violent man will continue to be violent.  Zimmerman WILL kill again. It’s a question of when, not if.  When it does and some woman unlucky enough to be with him or another Black teenager lies dead in a chalk line it can’t be said, “We had no idea this would happen.”

Give a violent man the means to be violent repeatedly only makes it inevitable he will commit more violence.  Zimmerman got his taste of blood in killing Trayvon and that’s why he will kill again. He liked the taste.

God bless the defenders of George Zimmerman. They know not what they enable.

The Sick Skin Game of Orville L. Douglas

Orville Douglas thinks they’d be cuter if they were White.

There was a lot of buzz this week (and most of it negative) over a column in the Washington Post by Richard Cohen that snarked negatively over the interracial family of the newly elected mayor of New York, Bill DiBlasio.

But along came one by The Guardian’s Orville Lloyd Douglas that was far worse.

A lot of black men don’t want to acknowledge the feelings of disgust we have for ourselves. It is considered emasculating to even admit the existence of such thoughts. I think my own self-hated manifests from the exterior, from the outside world. It is born out of the despair and the unhappiness I see within a lot of young black men.

I can honestly say I hate being a black male. Although black people like to wax poetic about loving their label I hate “being black”. I just don’t fit into a neat category of the stereotypical views people have of black men. In popular culture black men are recognized in three areas: sports, crime, and entertainment. I hate rap music, I hate most sports, and I like listening to rock music such as PJ Harvey, Morrissey, and Tracy Chapman. I have nothing in common with the archetypes about the black male.

Honestly, who would want to be black? Who would want people to be terrified of you and not want to sit next to you on public transportation?

Who would want to have this dark skin, broad nose, large thick lips, and wake up in the morning being despised by the rest of the world?

Many people have their dark times when they utterly loathe the image staring back at them in the mirror, but to hate your own skin is more than doubt, that’s sick.   Mr. Douglas doesn’t need to be a newspaper columnist. He needs to be the patient of an excellent psychiatrist.

Orville Douglas: A man trapped in a prison he can never escape.

It’s one thing to be distressed and disheartened by the bad behavior of Blacks.  Even now, I still get a slight twinge when there is a violent, senseless crime and there’s a Black male associated with it, but I don’t wear the guilt of a criminal on my shoulders.   I’d be walking around stooped over all the time.

In terms of stereotyping it has been observed that Whites commit crime, but Blacks are criminals.   This is not an accident.   The promotion of fear is big business and it serves that industry well to keep the actions of a violent minority within a minority pushed to the forefront of our consciousness.

Orville Lloyd Douglas has bought into the hype.

Douglas is not a handsome man.  He is a large, bald, overweight man who wears glasses.  His nose is broad.  His lips are thick.   Orville is not a romantic fantasy.

Orville hates his appearance.  He shouldn’t.  There are things he can do to improve it.  He can work out, eat better, watch his diet and lose weight though you’d think a man who spends so much time running away from his Blackness would be in better shape.

If he can afford it, he can opt for lap-band surgery.   He can wear a wig or get hair plugs.   Regarding his distinctly Negroid features, he can go the plastic surgery route and get fixed up with a nice pert little nose and have his lips redone.

If Orville wants to be a handsome man there are options available for him to pursue to enhance his looks.   What isn’t available for him is a total replacement for the skin he hates so much.   Orville was born Black, he looks Black and he’s going to die Black, no matter how much he wishes to be blonde, blue-eyed, pretty and White.  No matter what Orville does he is not going to see Brad Pitt staring back in the mirror.

Orville should check out Malcolm X when he said, “Who taught you to hate the color of your skin? Who taught you to hate the texture of your hair? Who taught you to hate the shape of your nose and the shape of your lips? Who taught you to hate yourself from the top of your head to the soles of your feet? Who taught you to hate your own kind? Who taught you to hate the race that you belong to so much so that you don’t want to be around each other? You know. Before you come asking Mr. [Elijah] Muhammad does he teach hate, you should ask yourself who taught you to hate being what God made you.”

Malcolm’s kind of Black pride would scare the hell out of a coward like Douglas.

I find it interesting that Orville is cool with the stereotyping and social stigmas that come with being a homosexual. Apparently, gay really is the new black.

Orville can hate being Black all he wants, but that won’t change the reality Black is what he is and always will be.  There isn’t enough Clorox in the world to bleach away his Blackness.

The first surge of anger I felt for this wretched fellow has mellowed a pity I’m certain Douglas would want no part of it.   No matter.   Michael Jackson claimed a skin disease caused his slow fade to paleness but even his wealth and resources couldn’t make the King of Pop a White man.

Orville will fare no better.   He is trapped in a prison of flesh with no lock, no key, and no escape from the Black flesh he so despises.  That’s a far worse hell than any I could ever cast him into.

The Murder of Renisha McBride

Why is this woman dead and her killer still free? WHY?

I haven’t been able to say anything about the killing of Renisha McBride for the same reason I haven’t been able to write my reaction to seeing 12 Years A Slave.

It’s too real and too much pain involved.   I needed a little time to compress and process.  Now that I have, here’s what I have to say.

Your name is Renisha McBride.  You are 19 years old and you live in Detroit.  You are in the suburb of Dearborn Heights and get in a car crash.  Your cell phone is dead.   You’re injured and bleeding.  You go looking for help and knock on the door of a house.   Someone opens the door armed with a loaded gun, shoots a woman in her face and then claims it “discharged by accident?”

I call “bullshit” on that.

A gun doesn’t aim itself and triggers don’t pull themselves. Human beings do that.

Scared, stupid, racist human beings who can kill an injured and unarmed woman and two weeks later the killer still hasn’t been arrested or even identified.

Smells like George Zimmerman chillin’ at the crib for nearly 45  days after blowing away Trayvon Martin all over again only this time it’s a remix with the bizarre circumstances of the Jonathan Ferrell shooting of a few months ago.  As if Black people needed yet another reminder of how cheaply their lives are regarded by the injustice system here comes a hard slap across the face.

Yes, it’s a different situation from the Ferrell shooting in that in this case if was a homeowner, not a cop, who blew Renisha McBride away.

Otherwise, what’s so different?

The overarching lesson here seems to be if you’re Black and you get in a car crash at night and your cell phone is out of juice and you need help, DON’T go knocking on the door of any nearby homes unless you want to get shot.

Just sit there in the wreckage of your vehicle and suffer. You’ll still be injured, but you might not end up dead.

mcbride funeral

All things considered, is  slowly freezing to death or dying slowly of internal injuries so much worse or any less than being shot in the face with a .12 gauge shotgun by some trigger-happy cretin?

I have no confidence the courts will dispense justice for the killer of Renisha McBride anymore than it did for Trayvon Martin, Amadou Diallo, Sean Bell, Oscar Grant or Rodney King.

Each of these cases have more than one thing in common. They each have a White shooter (with the exception of Zimmerman) and a Black victim and all of them united by the supposed fear of the shooter of the victim.

Each of these cases shows how “laws” like Stand Your Ground have been designed to protect the killers, not the victims. There is a culture of death that already plagues the Black community as they die by violence perpetrated among themselves, but White fear of Black people has become legally sanctioned as reason enough to kill them with impunity.

The American system of jurisprudence is blind, but it is not color blind. If the race of the shooter and the victim were reversed there is no way a Black man would not be arrested for shooting a 19-year-old White female in the face as she sought help after an auto accident.

We don’t know why Mr. X shot McBride.  We know he is 54 years old and a White male.  His attorney says he feared McBride was trying to break into his home and he shot her accidentally which if you believe that, I have some nice property in the Everglades to sell you.

Where is the evidence Renisha attempted to break into the house of the man who shot her?

Self-defense only applies when someone needs to defend themselves (or at least it did before SYG laws turned the concept upside down). Renisha was injured, disoriented and unarmed. Where is the threat? Or is knocking on a door now grounds to shoot someone in the face?

Trayvon Martin.  Jonathan Ferrell.  Renisha McBride.  Scared shooters.  Dead Black people.

Trayvon Martin.  Black male.  Racially profiled.  Shot by vigilante.  Dead.

Jonathan Ferrell. Black male. Car crash. Seeks help. Shot by cop. Dead.

Renisha McBride. Black female. Car crash. Seeks help. Shot by homeowner. Dead.

Once is accident. Twice is coincidence. Third time is proof.

People whom are not protected by the law will soon have no respect for the law.  If that is the lesson America wants to teach its Black citizens, they should know they are building a hothouse where only discontent, rage and hate will grow.

When it reaches full bloom it won’t be pretty to behold.   That’s not a warning.  That’s a prophecy.

Demonstrators demand justice for Renisha McBride

 

Chris Christie and the Irresistible Appeal of “Shiny Toys.”

“Mean? I’m not mean. I’m HUNGRY!”

If you play fantasy football, you have to be cautious of what I call “The Shiny Toy Theory.” Show a baby a shiny toy and they become hypnotized by the sight of it.  In fantasy football, there are players that get hot for a week or two and put up impressive numbers.  Everyone wants to pick them up because they are pretty and shiny.

Most of these players aren’t built to last. They are teasers, not pleasers. Showers, not growers.

Enter Chris Christie.   This week’s Designated Savior of the Republican Party and one of the media’s favorite shiny toy.

The Republican bench of potential candidates for 2016 is long, eager and many are rabid red-meat right-wingers whom refuse to compromise, negotiate or acknowledge political realities.   This plays well with the base of the party.   It scares the hell out of the general electorate in a presidential election.

Christie is one of those guys who went from obscurity to popularity and never stopped at humility.   He should enjoy his time riding high in the news cycle.   It won’t last because it never does.   Another shinier and prettier toy will come along and the media and the public will trot along behind it like puppies.

In politics destiny is occasionally confused with inevitably.   New Jersey has been the nexus of this phenomenon of late when two separate, but important events occurred.   Cory Booker went from the ambitious and nationally popular mayor of Newark to the first African-American to win a Senate seat in a state election since another ambitious African-American named Barack Obama did the same in 2006.  We all know where his ambitions took him and have no doubt Booker will eventually try to follow Obama’s career arc.

“Cory, just because I made you ride in the back of my helicopter is no reason to get mad.”

But that’s further in the future.  Here and now the other notable event was the Garden State’s incumbent governor, Chris Christie, easily won reelection in a race he was supposed to win in a Democratic state that admires his rough-around-the-edges Republicanism.  What made the victory notable to the self-styled seers and wise men sifting the tea leaves for the 2016 presidential race is how the governor cobbled together enough votes from traditionally Democratic supporters for a fawning national media to dub Christie the man  to rescue a party that seems to have forgotten how to win national elections.

It’s too early to tell, but he appears to have the makings of such a politician. It isn’t just that his four-year record of incumbency netted him a reelection margin of 60.4 percent compared to just 38.1 percent for his Democratic opponent, although that suggests that he is capable of generating considerable political force. More significant is his performance among particular voter categories. Women gave him a 15 percentage-point advantage over his female rival. People who identified themselves as moderates gave him a 21-point advantage. Independent voters turned to him by a 31-point margin. Even 30 percent of self-described liberals backed him. Meanwhile, he took half of the Hispanic vote and more than 20 percent of the African-American vote.

If  Christie could be elected by the slobbering mainstream media, he’d be the next POTUS.  Unfortunately for him, he’s gonna have to go stand in some Iowa cornfield in about two years and try to explain to some skeptical farmer chewing tobacco and spitting it out why he should support him over a true believer like Ted Cruz or Rand Paul.

Without a doubt it was a big win for the big man, but Chrstie’s triumph looks even more impressive in comparison to Tea Party poster boy and right-wing radical Ken Cuccinelli’s humbling defeat in Virginia to Terry McAuliffe, a Bill Clinton insider.

Christie’s appeal lies in when compared to the right-wing extremism of Rand Paul and Ted Cruz and the “oh no, not another one” stink all over Jeb Bush, he benefits by being the least terrible choice.  For the GOP insiders, while they may grumble over Christie literally embracing President Obama, they can’t deny his popularity and the possibility his gruff, take-no-stuff persona may play well nationally.

What won’t play well is Christie’s imperious and often rude attacks on teachers, labor unions, journalists and other Republicans who cross him.  The GOP base won’t care about dissing those first three groups, but if Christie hopes to win the nomination he can’t treat the rest of the Republican field like bleeping idiots even if they are bleeping idiots.

I’m trying to imagine Christie in a debate with Paul, Cruz, Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan and whomever shows up all slicing and dicing into him and getting redder and madder as he struggles to hold his volcanic anger in check.   I don’t think he can for an entire campaign without at least one major eruption of Mt. Chris Christie.

Americans like tough guys, but they don’t like mean guys and Christie can be very mean.   That’s a liability and he’ll have to learn how to temper his noted temper.

Christie is not a secret liberal fantasy.   He’s a solidly mainstream Republican who has some moderate positions because he’s a governor in a pretty blue/Democratic state.   That will serve Christie well in a general election, but can he even get out of the Republican primaries when everyone from Cruz to Paul to Marco Rubio and the rest are going to be aiming for that target on his double-wide butt?

It’s not a lock Christie even gets the nomination despite the fact many of the traditional Republicans will hold their nose and support him despite not being ideologically “pure.”

Christie would be a moderate but only more moderate in comparison than Cruz, Paul or Rubio (but not that much more).    Christie’s lap-band surgery isn’t about slimming down but to take off the table the lingering question of whether Americans wants an obese president, but  until the pounds melt away, Christie will still offer plenty of room for his admirers and critics to ride his butt all the way to 2016.

Nice podium, Barack. Mind if I keep it?

To Be Or Not To Blog?

This is an opportunity for me to take a short victory lap (because I hate to run) over a personal accomplishment for The Domino Theory.

Based in no small part from the higher profile given to my blog post review of Fruitvale Station being featured on the Word Press Freshly Pressed page, I rocketed to 500 “follows” in three months.    What really blows my mind is I’ve been grinding away at this blog since 2008 and I didn’t get to 100 Follows until June of this year.

What’s really been a surprise is it hasn’t stopped.   At the rate the follows have been coming I may hit 600 before Thanksgiving and that is something to be thankful for.

Fame, if not necessarily fortune at long last!   Yay! You like me! You really like me!

Trophy Case

But seriously, folks.   I can’t individually thank every one who has subscribed to my blog.   I am truly touched by the vote of confidence because everyone I know who does this has those moments where they get that sneaking sensation they are only talking to themselves.    Well, if I am I hope the conversation is at least interesting.

I’m not exactly sure where I’m going to go next with this blogging thing.    While I’m very good at saying precisely what I think about Ted Cruz,  Kanye and Kim or bad jazz, I would really like to transition to more serious, less frivolous, subjects.    I think of myself as a  good interviewer (though I hate transcribing interviews) and next year I’m going to get back to doing more of them.   If I want to raise the profile of The Domino Theory one way to do it is by talking with people I want to know more about  because nobody else seems to be talking to them for me.

Journalism as I know it is in a state of flux.   Anyone who tells you they know what happens next is lying to you and themselves.   What is known is the readership that faithfully followed newspapers, magazines and print is gone and they aren’t coming back.   They are accessing information and entertainment on handheld devices, on their phones, and via other means that doesn’t depend on dead trees to get the point across.

Even the best blogs can’t come close to what the Washington Post, TIME or Newsweek did when they were required reading.   Blogging is not the first draft of history.    It’s the immediate reaction to history as its made.   I know for a fact a lot of trained journalists absolutely despise bloggers and it doesn’t matter how polished or professional the prose and the presentation is.   They will never consider it a legit option to classic print, radio and television news media.

I don’t either.  Not yet anyway.  I’m not a blogger trying to create journalism.   I’m a journalist who blogs and this is still very much a work in progress, but I’m still excited by the possibilities.   If you gave me a million dollars and told me, “Go make some journalism” I wouldn’t start a newspaper.   I’d create a blog.

Since I have one already maybe the best bet is to keep trying to make it better and if it becomes something more like journalism and something less like blogging, that’s not a bad thing.   This is as much an experiment as it an experience.

Thanks again for your support.  Going forward I hope to give you even better reasons to continue doing so.