Category Archives: Commentary

Jim Bunning: Should He Really Rest in Peace?

Leading obituary in today’s New York Times: Jim Bunning, Hall of Fame Pitcher Turned Cantankerous Senator, Dies at 85. In the online version, the Times changed “Turned Cantankerous” to “and Blunt-Spoken.” I like the print title better.

Should anyone from the general public be mourning Bunning’s passing?

Not in my opinion. Pissing on anyone’s grave is not an especially endearing act, so I’ll catch a few darts for this one, but I believe there should be a special place in hell for anyone lucky enough to make a fortune playing a sport who sees fit to deny poor people safety net benefits. Continue reading

Are Three Decent Republican Senators All it Would Take?

The refusal of Congressional Republicans to confront Trump is breathtaking.

By all appearances, they’re the last – and most critical – domino that must fall in order for Trump to be removed. Many in the conservative media no longer will defend Trump. Yes, Fox News still is hanging on, as is Rush Limbaugh, but conservative journalists as a group largely have given up. And some, Joe Scarborough for example, are among Trump’s harshest critics. The public has abandoned Trump as well. The latest poll on his approval rating, placing it at 36%, was taken before the Comey firing. And you don’t see many former Republican office holders flocking to Trump’s defense.

Yet, with few exceptions, Ryan, McConnell and the rest of the gang that control both houses of Congress have barely budged.

So, what would it take to move them?

Theoretically, as few as three Republican Senators with a shred of decency could make it happen. And there are possibilities: McCain, Flake, Corker, Collins, Murkowski, maybe even Burr.

Why three? Continue reading

When Newspaper Editorials Belabor the Obvious, is the End Near?

In its lead editorial on Tuesday, Donald Trump Embraces Another Despot, the New York Times was unsparing in its criticism of Trump’s invitation to Rodrigo Duterte, President of the Philippines, to visit the White House. The Times’ editorial was dead on. There was not a word with which I disagreed. The editorial was well written. In sum, the editorial said what needed to be said, and said it well.

It also was deeply disturbing that the Times ran it.

Why?

Because the call was too easy. Consider this passage:

After his election last year, Mr. Duterte took the killing campaign nationwide, effectively giving free license to the police and vigilantes. He has boasted about his tenure in Davao, and admitted to personally killing three kidnappers without trial. The mayhem got so bad that last week a Filipino lawyer formally asked the International Criminal Court to charge Mr. Duterte and 11 officials with mass murder and crimes against humanity over the extrajudicial killings of nearly 10,000 people over the past three decades.

Should Americans need the Times to explain to them why Trump’s invitation to Duterte was dead wrong?

Yet many do.  Continue reading

About that Trump interview with the Associated Press

In case you did not see this reported in your local newspapers last week, Donald Trump gave an interview to the Associated Press (AP) last week that was, to be fair, batshit crazy.

Here is the Transcript of the AP interview with Trump you can read for yourself. This should keep you up at night wondering “My God, what have we done?!

The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake annotates Trump’s over-the-top, boastful AP interview:

President Trump sat down with the Associated Press’s Julie Pace on Friday, and what emerged was a conversation in which Trump bragged and boasted repeatedly — sometimes unprompted and using revisionist history — about what he’s accomplished in his first 100 days as president. He did this all while dismissing the idea that the 100-day threshold even matters, despite hailing that same standard dozens of times late in his 2016 campaign.

Some of the claims are truly remarkable, including that he may have given the greatest speech in the history of the House chamber and that a Democrat told him he’d be among the greatest presidents ever. He also just flat-out said he shouldn’t be bound by his 100-day promises.

Below is the transcript, which was released Sunday night, along with my annotations. To see an annotation, click on the yellow, highlighted text.

I’m not going to replicate it here, you should go to Blake’s piece for his annotations.

Continue reading

Yes, I’m Still Here

It’s now been five weeks since my last post. In the five plus years preceding that stretch, I wrote just over 750 posts, never going more than two weeks in between postings.

Who would have predicted a few years back there would come a time that ole Thucky would have more visibility here than I?

Well, to Steve, the Captain (now Censored, after AZBM terminated the Captain’s commenting privilege) and the precious few others who follow me, I will be back. For whatever reason, I’ve found precious little inspiration to write over the past month or so. After a few attempts to churn out a post just for the sake of continuity, I said “screw it” and focused more on my golf game. My social media time also has been cut way back.

Truth is, my sabbatical has been great. For those of you who spend substantial time posting, commenting, tweeting, or Facebooking, I highly recommend it. It’s not that the social media is unenjoyable. Rather, a change of habit and a return to other forms of relaxation can be refreshing.

Still, I love to write, so I will return.

Opening Day: For Love of the Game

The long winter of our discontent has finally come to an end with the start of the 2017 Major League Baseball season.

Sunday marks the “official” TV start of the season with three games, the NY Yankees v. Tampa Bay Rays, San Francisco Giants v. Arizona Diamondbacks, and the defending World Champion Chicago Cubs v. St. Louis Cardinals.

World Champion Chicago Cubs . . . I waited a lifetime to be able to say that!

Monday is the traditional Opening Day, otherwise known as the most beautiful phrase in the English language, with a full slate of games scheduled.

My 2016 Minnesota Twins were the worst team that Minnesota has ever witnessed in 56 seasons of Major League Baseball, and the worst team in Major League Baseball with only 59 wins. At least they get some high round draft picks. The Chicago Cubs made up for my misery last season.

According to Bleacher Report predictions for the 2017 season, this season’s division winners should not be much different from last season: AL East: Boston Red Sox, AL Central: Cleveland Indians, AL West: Houston Astros, NL East: Washington Nationals, NL Central: Chicago Cubs, NL West: San Francisco Giants.

You know what they say about predictions: this is why we play the game. We’ll see who is still standing at the end of 162 games come October when baseball’s “second season” playoffs begin.

Continue reading